Respiratory rehabilitation through an assistive electronic trumpet

Author: Thomas Beltrame

Beltrame, Thomas, 2019 Respiratory rehabilitation through an assistive electronic trumpet, Flinders University, College of Science and Engineering

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The Incentive Spirometer (IS) is a device prescribed to patients following abdominal or thoracic surgery, to facilitate deep breathing and reduce, or prevent, Postoperative Pulmonary Complications (PPCs). The utility of the IS has been debated in recent literature, as disengagement with the IS has been reported to contribute to lowered patient compliance, hence expected respiratory benefits have not been realised (Fernandez-Bustamante, Schoen, et al., 2017). In 2011, over 1 million PPCs occurred annually in the United States, associated with 46,200 deaths and 4.8 million additional hospitalisation days (Shander et al., 2011). IS compliance has been reported to be as low as 6% (Pantel et al., 2017). To potentially improve respiratory outcomes and satisfaction during therapy, a music-focused electronic therapeutic device was modelled from the IS.

The trumpet is a musical instrument Activated by the mouth and breath, which can be naturally coupled to a breath-based therapy such as Incentive Spirometry (ISy). A more interactive and enjoyable respiratory rehabilitation program was integrated through the design of an electronic trumpet. To increase user engagement, multiple mobile applications were designed to integrate with the electronic trumpet, which provided customisable visual and graphic feedback, with the option to include tactile feedback. The combination of adaptability, trimodal feedback and customisation and have been recognised to contribute positively to user engagement (Frid, 2019).

The intricate and complex process required to play modern musical instruments often requires the musician to possess complete muscular control. Such systems impose great challenges for those with physical impairments who wish to access and play music. Music has been shown to promote cognitive development (Talamini et al., 2017; Vaughn, 2000), reduce, or prolong, the onset of dementia and cognitive impairment in the elderly (Balbag et al., 2014), and music therapy has also been shown to improve mental health (Canga et al., 2015; Ferrer, 2007).

The assistive electronic trumpet was designed to be portable, simple, and convenient to use, embedded with onboard processing capabilities and Bluetooth connectivity. In addition to acting as a therapeutic device, the electronic trumpet, also provides musical access to users who lack either the fine motor control or the respiratory capacity required to play a conventional trumpet.

Keywords: music, assistive, assistive technology, trumpet, rehabilitation, respiratory, digital instrument, mobile app

Subject: Engineering thesis

Thesis type: Masters
Completed: 2019
School: College of Science and Engineering
Supervisor: Dr David Hobbs