Any person who relies on medication to stay healthy knows the stress of buying prescriptions and equipment — especially if they make it possible to breathe. John Hoang and his classmates are working to make that stress easier to bear.
Hoang is working with Kristine Tanner, a rehabilitation therapist at the University Hospital, to develop a portable nebulizer that is both inexpensive and disposable.
A nebulizer is a personal medical device that sends isotonic saline into the lungs to hydrate naturally occurring mucus. The hydrated mucus is then able to work its way up to the larynx and hydrate the throat, easing respiratory distress caused by asthma and sore throat.
The cost of a nebulizer can range from $50 to more than $300 depending on the needs of the patient.
Hoang and his classmates — Alex Williams, Josh Schwermer and Whitney Horton — became involved in the project through the bioDesign program, an interdisciplinary program that provides opportunities for students to work on research and development projects with faculty. Tanner came to them with the problem of an expensive product and the team was tasked with finding and developing a solution.