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COPD Sufferers Can Breathe Easier with New App

sept2018image004.jpgThere’s an app for that – helping those living with COPD to breathe easier.

The app, Respirate, was created by two high school students in North Carolina and has gone on to win a national contest. The computer company Lenovo announced recently that Respirate is the online “Fan Favorite” as part of its 2018 Lenovo Scholar Network National Mobile App Development Competition.

The app’s most basic function is to help people who have chronic lung diseases improve their ability to breathe. Respirate operates by showing those with COPD how to perform various exercises to help them improve their lung function.

Respirate supplements pulmonary rehabilitation, a program of exercise and education for people who have COPD and other respiratory illnesses. In addition to showing people how to perform various exercises, the app includes to-do lists, reminders and motivational messages, and helps people calculate their body mass index (BMI) to determine how much body fat they have and how they can bring it down.

Possible upgrades include offering Respirate in more languages and seeing whether it can be offered on Apple devices.

Udai Virk and Jeffrey Li, juniors at Enloe High School in Raleigh, developed the app because they know people who have COPD, the third-leading cause of death in the country. “It was extremely mind blowing when we won,” said Virk, 16. “But when we sat down and thought about it afterward, we realized how spectacular our app could be.”

“We thought this was a huge thing,” Li said. “Let’s develop an app to help people manage this.”

The students are members of the Wake County magnet school’s health sciences academy.

Respirate was among six national winners announced in May, leading to the online “Fan Favorite” competition.

The app can be downloaded on the Google Play Store for use on Android devices.

Click here to read the full article on the Raleigh Herald Sun.