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Sensors 2013, 13(6), 7399-7413; doi:10.3390/s130607399

Soft Stethoscope for Detecting Asthma Wheeze in Young Children

1 Institute of Biomedical Engineering, National Taiwan University, No.1, Sec.4, Roosevelt Road, Taipei 106, Taiwan 2 Department of Internal Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan No.1, Changde St., Taipei 106, Taiwan 3 Department of Material and Chemical Research Laboratory, Industrial Technology Research Institute, 195, Sec.4, Chung Hsing Rd., Chutung, Hsinchu 310, Taiwan
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 April 2013 / Revised: 20 May 2013 / Accepted: 3 June 2013 / Published: 6 June 2013
(This article belongs to the collection Sensors for Globalized Healthy Living and Wellbeing)
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Asthma is a chronic disease that is commonly suffered by children. Asthmatic children have a lower quality of life than other children. Physicians and pediatricians recommend that parents record the frequency of attacks and their symptoms to help manage their children’s asthma. However, the lack of a convenient device for monitoring the asthmatic condition leads to the difficulties in managing it, especially when it is suffered by young children. This work develops a wheeze detection system for use at home. A small and soft stethoscope was used to collect the respiratory sound. The wheeze detection algorithm was the Adaptive Respiratory Spectrum Correlation Coefficient (RSACC) algorithm, which has the advantages of high sensitivity/specificity and a low computational requirement. Fifty-nine sound files from eight young children (one to seven years old) were collected in the emergency room and analyzed. The results revealed that the system provided 88% sensitivity and 94% specificity in wheeze detection. In conclusion, this small soft stethoscope can be easily used on young children. A noisy environment does not affect the effectiveness of the system in detecting wheeze. Hence, the system can be used at home by parents who wish to evaluate and manage the asthmatic condition of their children.
Keywords: CORSA; soft sensor; respiratory sound; wheeze detection; asthma; stethoscope CORSA; soft sensor; respiratory sound; wheeze detection; asthma; stethoscope
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Yu, C.; Tsai, T.-H.; Huang, S.-I.; Lin, C.-W. Soft Stethoscope for Detecting Asthma Wheeze in Young Children. Sensors 2013, 13, 7399-7413.

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