Respira Labs Wins NSF Phase I Grant

InteliSpark client, Respira Labs, LLC, has been awarded a SBIR Phase I grant from the NSF. Their project titled, “A novel, active acoustic wearable for real-time deterioration assessment in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)”, has a focus on developing a new gold-standard for COPD deterioration detection. With the assistance from the NSF, Respira Labs can now work on the development of a next-generation product that will revolutionize COPD management by empowering patients, providers and caregivers to monitor the disease, prevent respiratory attacks, and receive timely care at home.

The current COPD death rate is one American every four minutes. Additionally, it costs nearly $72B a year with almost half of those costs attributed to ER visits and hospitalization. Respira Labs plans to address this issue with the use of early detection of lung deterioration in their innovation; which will facilitate preventive interventions at home and thereby reduce the $36B/year spent on ER and hospital visits. Their solution has a validated business model that drives value for patients, physicians, provider networks and payers.

Respira Labs’ innovative product is based on audio sensors paired with AI algorithms on a Smartphone platform to track lung resonance and flag any changes in lung volume. Current methods for tracking lung function at home are sub-optimal, as they are often difficult to use. Pulse-oximeters are highly inaccurate and only provide data at discrete points, causing late diagnosis. This lack of timely information manifests in excess hospitalizations because detection often occurs too late to prevent an attack. Respira Labs’ product creates a fundamental shift in the technology employed at home by identifying air trapping, a more sensitive biomarker for lung deterioration. The goal of this Phase I project is to create a Minimum Viable Product that can be used for human testing. By the end of this award, Respira Labs plans to have tested and validated the concept in a small cohort of patients and controls. Successful development of this product is forecast to create 42 new jobs (2024) with an annual payroll exceeding $6.5M. As a direct result of this award, this innovative product can reach the U.S. market in 2023, with $100M in projected revenue by 2027.