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Scientists are developing a new technology that tracks WiFi signals to identify if you are struggling to breathe

by Riya Mishra

Date & Time: Jan 17, 2023 1:00 PM

Read Time: 4 minute


Medical research is constantly evolving. For example, over the past several years there has been a great deal of progress in the fight against cancer. Scientists have developed new drugs and therapies that can target specific cancer cells and kill them without harming healthy cells. Such essential development has allowed for earlier diagnosis and treatment. As a result, cancer survival rates have gradually gone up.

And thanks to evolving research, now severe respiratory issues can also be detected, diagnosed, and properly treated, with the assistance of a new form of technology that utilizes wi-fi signals to detect if someone is struggling with a previously undiagnosed breathing problem.

How does this advanced technology work?

When a person is having trouble breathing, the wi-fi signal transmitted by the wi-fi routers, as well as our smartphones can give away the fact that they might need help. The signals transmitted by the routers bounce off multiple items inside houses and buildings like walls, elevators, furniture, and even us humans.

Scientists are currently working on ways to track wi-fi signals in order to identify people who are struggling to breathe and may need assistance.

The technology currently under development is called “BreateSmart”. BreateSmart uses a series of sensors to detect the location of a Wi-Fi signal within a building. By identifying patterns in the signal, scientists can make out whether an individual is having trouble breathing.

One early test of the new technology showed promising results. In one study, BreatheSmart was used to monitor the breathing of premature babies in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). The results showed that BreatheSmart was able to accurately detect when a baby was having trouble breathing 97% of the time.

This new technology can also be utilized to track the heartbeats of those that might be trapped in hard-to-get-out places. For example, it can be used to help emergency responders find victims in burning buildings and locate people who have lost contact with their caregivers.

While it is still being developed, this new tech has so far shown great promise for helping people who are struggling to breathe. With further research and refinement, this technology could save lives by providing accurate data.

Why further develop this new Technology?

In today's society, it is more important than ever to have access to a medical procedure that can help us detect health problems early on, especially those that deal with respiratory diseases like asthma, and obstructive pulmonary disease, and BreatheSmart fortunately, is that innovation-driven medical procedures for the future.

Although still in the testing phase, if further tested and researched more accurately, it has the potential to save countless lives by detecting respiratory issues early on, before they become serious.

BreatheSmart utilizes channel state information (CSI) signals transmitted by an individual’s smartphone to the access point router and measures the respiratory rate and oxygen levels. Since the signals reflect off of various objects present in the environment they lose their strength in the process. However, the access point or router can optimize and adjust to the transmitter link.

The CSI signals are monitored by the development team, giving them complete data on the individual’s current health status. This allows for earlier detection of respiratory problems, which can then lead to earlier treatment and potentially saved lives.

There are many reasons why further development of BreatheSmart is necessary. First and foremost, this technology has the potential to save lives. Early detection can prevent serious conditions from becoming serious, and in some cases can even be life-saving.

The current goal with the technology is to further advance it and make it accessible by health centers and hospitals so that one day doctors can use this tech as preferential treatment.

Additionally, BreatheSmart could be a useful tool for caregivers of elderly or medically fragile individuals, as it can help them monitor their loved ones’ breathing and ensure that they are staying safe and healthy.


Technologies like BreatheSmart have the potential to completely transform how the medical world diagnoses and treats ailments that can potentially turn out to be lifelong and very deadly. Thanks to current progress in medical technology, additional funding is now being poured into projects that require more research and studies such as cancer treatment, Diarrhoeal diseases, leprosy, etc.

Similarly to how newer developments in curing widely spread ailments help spread awareness about diseases such as leukemia, and HIV/AIDS, more monetary contributions in lesser researched medical conditions and diseases can push the initiative for their development and save millions of lives who despite having the financing backing are unable to survive.

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