This work evaluates the use of a new flow meter to assess exhalation rate. A mobile indirect calorimeter (MIC) was designed and used to measure resting metabolic rate (RMR), which relies on the measure of O 2 consumption rate (VO 2 ) and CO 2 production rate (VCO 2 ). The device was produced from a commercially available and well-established indirect calorimeter and implemented with a new flow meter for the purpose of this study. VO 2 and VCO 2 were assessed by measuring exhalation rates using the new flow meter and O 2 and CO 2 concentrations in breath using the original colorimetric sensors of the indirect calorimeter. The new flow meter was based on a thermal flow meter (TFM) affixed to an orifice with a diameter of 6.8 mm used as a passage for exhaled breath from 16 subjects. The results were compared with a metabolic cart (Medical Graphics), which was connected in series to the modified device. We found that 69% of the results had more than a 10% difference between the modified MIC device and the reference instrument, suggesting that the sensitivity of the thermal flow meter changed over time, which precluded its use as a flow meter for breath flow rate measurement.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Control and Systems Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering