i4Kids Pilot Grantee wins the Pitt Innovation Challenge!

14 Oct 2020

Congratulations to the first $100,000-winning team, AWARE (Acoustic Waveform Respiratory Evaluation). The AWARE team includes Erick Forno, MD, MPH, Wei Chen, PhD, & Wei Gao, PhD. The AWARE team is also being awarded an additional $25,000 pandemic bonus award, bringing their total award to $125,000. AWARE is a smartphone app that enables at-home lung function monitoring for people with lung disorders such as asthma, COPD, & COVID-19

Project Highlights

  • Respiratory diseases like asthma and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) affect millions of people, yet we lack good solutions to regularly monitor their lung function beyond the hospital or clinic.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized the importance of having reliable and accessible tele-medicine options to measure pulmonary function objectively, which would benefit all patients with lung diseases.
  • Using equipment and technology already built into most smartphones, AWARE uses acoustic waveforms to measure the caliber and patency of the airways, and to detect any narrowing or obstructions.
  • Because AWARE directly “maps” the airways, it does not require difficult forced breathing maneuvers, and therefore it will be easy to perform by children, older adults, and those with advanced diseases of the airways.
  • The ultimate goal is to provide long-term lung function monitoring in a reliable, affordable, accessible, and effortless manner.


Learn more about their project here