The Smartphone as the Personal Health Assistant: The Breathing Chapter

4 Nov

It’s a beautiful day in West Michigan and I am taking the time to get some work done around the house and in the garage.  I decided to take the opportunity while working to monitor my breathing using the MyBreath app from Breath Research.  It’s a startup company that is working with academic and medical researchers to find ways to monitor breathing using the sound capture from the iPhone microphone on the earbuds (

I am a bit of a healthcare and technology geek as those that know me well can attest to.  I am a follower of the quantified self movement.  But not to create a data-driven life, but rather to instill within myself a sense of mindfulness.

I sing in choir, so I know how I should breath while singing, but this app had me thinking about the kind of breathing I was doing with simple activity and it was interesting to watch how my breathing changed through the course of my afternoon.  As I became mindful of my breathing, I realized how there was a link between my conscious thoughts, physical labor and my body’s adaptation through breathing.

I am not advocating moving autonomic functions into the level of conscious thought, but I could see how this could apply nicely to an asthmatic patient, COPD sufferer, or a person with chronic emphysema.  That ability to understand the linkage in normal activity to the stress factors that might cause a flare-up would be useful.

I will try this again when I workout.  Just to see how I can optimize my breathing to my physical exertion.

And oh yeah, when I thought a spider was crawling up my leg.  That made a difference too…

Originally posted on LinkedIn.

Jim VanderMey, Chief Innovation Officer, OST

Jim VanderMey, Chief Innovation Officer, OST

Jim VanderMey has served as VP of Technical Operations, CTO and now Chief Innovation Officer for OST. Jim has provided the technical leadership and product strategic planning for the organization since the very beginning. Jim is a technology visionary who sets the long and short-term direction for OST. He specializes in seeing the “big picture” of technology, industry trends and the business objectives supported by IT. As OST has gained an international reputation, Jim has taught and spoken at conferences in Europe, Japan, and throughout the US. Lastly, we must confess that some of OST’s peculiar culture is a direct derivation of Jim’s unorthodox style.

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