Combining heat-powered body sensors with software to monitor the resulting data may soon allow clinicians to analyze patients’ wheezing patterns and help improve the diagnosis of respiratory disorders.

The wearable device, developed by researchers at North Carolina State University, is capable of analyzing the onset time of respiratory sounds, as well as their pitch and the volume of air generated.

Initially, the researchers plan to integrate the newly developed software into a smartphone app. The phone can then communicate wirelessly with the sensors that are picking up patients’ respiratory sounds. If the app picks up a problem, both the physician and the patients are notified and the data is stored in the phone. Eventually the plan is to combine the sensing electronics and the software in one device with the smartphone only being used to send alerts to users.