Novel Non-invasive Assessment of Respiratory Function (NORM)



We are developing a novel, non-invasive method for non-contact assessment of respiratory muscle function by monitoring changes in the three-dimensional surface details of the human torso in real time.

An optical system captures and tracks all motion details of the chest and abdomen walls, recording 3D shape and dimensional variation of the body dynamically during breathing. The system could be used to monitor or diagnose neurological, muscle motion and respiratory system disorders.

Potential Impact

NHS Impact

  1. Cheaper; no consumables, dedicated lab space or on-site technical support are needed.
  2. Allows specialist treatment assessment/monitoring in community.
  3. Simple to operate, enables telemedicine support by specialist centre.
  4. Continuous monitoring allows more detailed assessment.
  5. Local use reduces hospital appointments, saving time and costly investigations, e.g. polysomnography.
  6. Better assessment of respiratory deterioration allows more timely preventive/rescue therapy; reduced long term NHS demands.

Patient impact

  1. Less stress.
  2. Local use – no need to attend specialist centre.
  3. Improves diagnostic timeliness/accuracy, impacting on health/recovery; no mask, mouthpiece, or volitional component, so suitable for younger patients.
  4. Non-invasive, suitable for monitoring in critical care.

Back to Robot Vision

Theme Leader

Centre for Machine Vision

Professor Melvyn Smith
Bristol Robotics Laboratory,
University of the West of England,
Frenchay Campus, T Building,
Coldharbour Lane,
Bristol, BS16 1QY
Tel: +44 (0)117 32 86358

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Page last updated 12 May 2016