Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

Internet of Things - Incentive Spirometer

Technology #2019-065

The incentive spirometer (IS) is a common device used in hospitals to improve the respiratory function of patients with lung illnesses and all patients following operations. The device is designed to incentivize patients to take deep slow breaths several times an hour. To quick or too low a breath is inadequate. Utilization of the device is often suboptimal requiring constant reminders and instruction. We wanted to incentivize use by creating a game played with the IS device. We created a device using light sensors to capture extent of use and transmit the information real-time into a videogame that incentivizes proper use of the device. This project falls into the broader category of the internet of things (IoT) and focused on information capture, processing, and distribution of data that previously was inaccessible. The broader vision is to extend the design to other applications within the hospital and beyond. The project has relied upon three main parts: sensors and data collection, data integration and connectivity, and game integration and user interface. 


  • Near real time data collections
  • Continuous objective monitoring