Barron Associates was recently awarded an NIH Phase I SBIR grant to develop and demonstrate a novel, low-cost, easy to use indirect calorimetry (IC) system for use in humans and other mammals. IC systems measure the exchange of respiratory gases, such as oxygen consumption, carbon dioxide production, and minute ventilation. They are used in many fields, including exercise physiology for tracking energy expenditure, in-hospital cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET), and nutrition applications to study individuals’ metabolic responses to nutrient ingestion. IC systems could be used in many additional applications, but the cost and complexity of existing systems are prohibitive. Example such applications include outpatient cardiac rehabilitation for tracking progress and prescribing exercise intensities, guiding enteral and parenteral nutrition in acutely ill and critically ill hospital patients, monitoring the ventilatory status of patients being weaned from mechanical ventilators, and measuring maximum oxygen consumption (the best measure of cardiopulmonary fitness) in athletes. The proposed M3 system will offer nearly the full range of capabilities of existing mobile and cart IC systems, but at an order of magnitude lower cost and ease of use.
The Phase I effort will focus on testing the prototype M3 system in the laboratory at Barron Associates and in exercising healthy human subjects. Phase II work will focus on cardiac rehabilitation applications.
This invention was developed by Gene Parker, Kevin Ehlmann, and Bill Gressick and a patent application has been filed.