Analysis of Respiratory Kinematics Device: Breath Detection from Motion Sensor Signals; Communication, Risk Perception, and Trust in COVID-19 Vaccine Uptake

Shanno, Julia, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Gadrey, Shrirang, MD-INMD Hospital Medicine, University of Virginia
Moorman, Randall, MD-INMD CV Medicine, University of Virginia
Ratcliffe, Sarah, MD-PBHS Public Health Sciences Admin, University of Virginia
Williams, Ronald, EN-Elec/Computer Engr Dept, University of Virginia
Hochheimer, Camille, MD-PBHS Public Health Sciences Admin, University of Virginia
Ashe, William, EN-Elec/Computer Engr Dept, University of Virginia
Ku, Tsai-Hsuan, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia

Currently, the best way to identify labored breathing in a hospital patient is through bedside evaluation conducted by a health professional. However, this brief and intermittent inspection does not allow for rapid detection of and response to labored breathing in clinical settings, which can be an indicator of many medical conditions and acute complications. The Analysis of Respiratory Kinematics (ARK) device is a novel medical device that aims to address this problem. The ARK device consists of a series of motion sensors that adhere to a patient’s chest and back, which can be used for continuous monitoring of chest kinematics, allowing for remote detection of labored breathing. Our team aimed to design an algorithm to identify each individual breath in the ARK motion sensor signals for use in the creation of analytical tools for detection of labored breathing.
I conducted my STS research on a topic that is not directly related to my technical project, but that is highly relevant to the medical field today: COVID-19 vaccine uptake. Three different vaccines against the SARS-CoV-2 virus have been approved under Emergency Use Authorizations in the United States. Throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic, both before and after vaccines became available, there has been a widespread perception in the U.S. that vaccines against the virus will provide a technical solution to the pandemic. However, for vaccines to achieve the mass immunization that is hoped for, they must be taken up by the majority of the population. In the U.S., vaccine uptake is a complex problem involving many different stakeholders with varying ideas about the safety and necessity of vaccination. In addition, there are several unique factors of the COVID-19 Pandemic and the current social and political atmosphere of the U.S. that may play new roles in vaccine uptake, such as political polarization, an urgency to regain “normalcy”, and decreased trust in the Federal government. Rather than viewing COVID-19 vaccination through a technological deterministic lens, we must view it as a wicked problem worthy of STS investigation. To this end, I investigated COVID-19 vaccine uptake in the U.S. using both the Actant-Network Theory and the Technological Mediation Theory.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
respiratory kinematics, labored breathing, motion sensors, COVID-19, vaccine uptake

School of Engineering and Applied Science
Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering
Technical Advisor: Shrirang Gadrey
STS Advisor: Tsai-Hsuan Ku
Technical Team Members: Julia Shanno, Sarah Innis

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