Rianne Trujillo, a student at New Mexico Highlands University, collaborated with a laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to develop an automated cough monitor that aims to alert parents of children afflicted with cystic fibrosis to a coughing spasm.

Her prototype is a cuff designed to be worn by children. Its electronic components cost less than $50. The three primary components are an open-source microcontroller that programs data, an accelerometer or motion detector and a microphone.

Not only could the device alert parents to a coughing spasm, but also, eventually, provide physicians with data to help them come up with the correct medical response.