CDT Postgraduate Studentship in Healthcare Innovation (RCUK Digital Economy Programme grant number EP/G036861/1)
Measurement of Lung Function through Modelling
Within the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) or operating theatre, clinicians would benefit from real time information about a patient’s lung function. Over the years there has been much work done on the determination of lung function. One method, involves varying the concentration of gas markers sinusoidally during inspiration and then measuring the output from the lung on expiration. With a computational model of the lung, the patient’s lung function can then be determined. This has been successfully demonstrated in healthy and young patients, using a bulky gas analyser. However, this is not a viable method for the majority of patients and is impracticable due to the size of the equipment.
Along with our clinical collaborators at the Oxford John Radcliffe Hospital, we are developing a model so that a patient’s lung function can be determined using more appropriate equipment. In addition we are developing the model from the homogeneous case, where the whole lung is assumed to function in the same way throughout, to the inhomogeneous case, where this assumption is relaxed. As ill and elderly patients have inhomogeneous lungs, this will provide more reliable and robust measurements of lung function.