Non-invasive Device for Equine Lung Function Testing

A large number of horses, no matter how healthy an environment they might be living in, suffer from lung function disorders. Suffering from such maladies makes horses incapable of being used in racing or for pulling – activities that require the respiratory system to be in good condition. This makes early and reliable diagnosis of pulmonary disorders a necessary requirement. Traditional methods to detect symptoms can be very invasive, time consuming, expensive, stressful for the horse, and don’t guarantee timeliness in preventing permanent damage.

Costing less than $1000 and weighing not more than 3.5 lbs., this invention addresses the need for a light, cheap, and non-invasive device. Horses tend to swing their heads around, and current non-invasive devices have significant protrusions causing injuries to the human user while collecting data. This has been addressed by ensuring the protrusion isn’t more than 6 in. It accurately obtains lung function signals by measuring airflow using a hot wire anemometry based wind sensor housed in a facemask that just covers the horse’s nostrils. Respiratory impedance plethysmography (RIP) bands are strapped to the abdomen and chest to acquire volume measurements versus time during breathing. The device is compatible with LabVIEW, a software whose interface makes it easy to draw inferences from. The volumetric flow rate can be used by veterinarians to diagnose pulmonary disorders.

Key Features/Benefits

  • Being cheap (costing less than $1000), can be afforded by many veterinarians.
  • Overall weight less than 3.5 lbs., and protrusion not more than 6 in. thereby guaranteeing safety for human operators.
  • Can be used on-site.
  • Facemask covers only the nostrils and not the entire muzzle making the entire procedure stress free for the horses.
  • Compatible with LabVIEW which allows for output customization.
Lucy Garvey
Lubna Hassan
Kyla Nichols
Allison Paquin
Research Category
Health & Biotechnology
Patent Status
Case Number