Using Low Cost Embedded Systems for Lung Sounds Auscultation and Analysis



This work explored a different way to measure lung sounds (i.e. cough and wheezes) by using embedded systems and an electronic microphone. This approach used low cost devices and the results were compared to a current state of the art device, the Littmann 3200 electronic stethoscope. Several versions of prototypes were built because the sound provided by the circuit was full of noise (it made the pulmonary sound almost inaudible, which did not allow it to be used to acquire lung sounds and, consequently, we needed to think in a different solution). Wireless transmissions (i.e. Bluetooth and Wi-Fi) were intended to be used, but it was not possible to conciliate both real-time data and wireless transmission. After tested the developed prototype, overall we obtained good results either on auscultating cough (sensitivity 76.97% ± 31.16% and specificity 99.83% ± 0.01% versus sensitivity 83.90% ± 31.97% and specificity 99.97% ± 0.00% of the Littmann), on comfort (average of 9 out of 10, same as the Littmann) and costs (41€ versus 350€ of the Littmann). On the other hand, it did not last a full day (neither the Littmann) and the sound quality was bad (the Littmann was good). Although one test contained wheezes, it was not possible to conclude anything related to this adventitious sound. At the end, our prototype had good results, having failed in some aspects that did not make it completely successful.


Wheezes, Cough, Embedded Sustems, Real-time lung sounds acquisition

MSc Thesis

Using Low Cost Embedded Systems for Lung Sounds Auscultation and Analysis, June 2017

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