The risk of infection during the COVID-19 pandemic puts healthcare professional in the line of fire. The risk is especially high when clinical personnel use stethoscopes for standard health checks such as listening to patients’ hearts and lungs. The importance of auscultation (diagnosis by listening) is undeniable. Each year, patients in the U.S. average 5.7 million physician office visits with emphysema or other chronic pulmonary disease as the primary diagnosis, according to the CDC. With the added burden of COVID-19 respiratory problems, checking patients’ breathing is crucial.

At CES 2021, Taiwan-based Heroic Faith Medical introduced Air Mod, a multi-channel continuous respiratory monitor. According to Heroic Faith, the Airmod uses an artificial intelligence-powered respiratory identification system. The AI can reduce risks for both medical professionals and patients in ICUs, emergency rooms, and surgical theaters. The Airmod AI recognizes inhalation and exhalation and distinguishes healthy from abnormal breathing sounds. After reportedly testing Airmod with more than 1,000 patients, the developer claims it is a superior solution for non-procedural sedation and respiratory safety with up to 96% accuracy in analyzing recorded breathing clips. The Airmod AI database includes 950,000 breathing-sound recordings.

Two sensors placed on the patient’s chest connect to the Airmod recorder. The device transmits the data via the internet to a nursing station. The Airmod platform can monitor respiratory conditions of multiple patients simultaneously. The software filters out ambient sounds and displays relevant patient data on a spectrogram for visual monitoring.

The pandemic has made it more important than ever to protect medical personnel while they treat and care for patients. The Airmod’s specific protection minimizes the necessity of doctors and nurses standing close to patients to listen to their breathing and heart beats. It also sounds like this technology could soon find use in remote patient monitoring.