New data indicates Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect system may be able to assess COPD and other pulmonary diseases.

Researchers from the University of Warwick used four Microsoft Xbox Kinect sensors to develop a low-cost chest wall motion assessment system. The investigators developed a prototype to create a three dimensional, time varying representation of a patient’s torso, which would enable physicians to measure and assess how the patient’s chest wall moves.

The researchers found their breathing mannequin used to test the prototype demonstrated similar accuracy to spirometer tests, the current standard test for COPD diagnosis. The researchers said that chest movement models can also help diagnose respiratory diseases.

Later, the prototype was tested on healthy volunteers and adults with cystic fibrosis. The Xbox’s infrared beam allowed the researchers to measure changes on the patients’ chest walls.

“We have developed a low cost prototype which provides a more comprehensive measurement of a patient’s breathing then existing methods,” project leader Dr Chris Golby said in a press release.

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