Skip to Content

Respiratory Rate Measurement Device for Emergency Department Triag

Team Members:
  • Alexia Haralambous
  • Richard Chen
  • Phani Gaddipati
  • Shohini Ghosh
  • Bryan Kuo
  • Pin-Hsuan Lee
  • Alex Mullen
  • Corbin Rosset
  • Samuel Yang, MD
  • Edbert Hsu, MD, MPH


To improve medical decision-making in the emergency department (ED) of hospitals, we have developed a novel respiratory rate (RR) measurement device for use in ED triage. The current standard of care for respiratory rate (RR) measurement in ED triage is manual measurement, often for 15 or 30 seconds. Due to this, and nurses under appreciation of RR, nurses rarely measure RR accurately, if at all. Although a broad range of RR measurement technology exists, few devices are both cost-effective and suited for the transient nature of triage. Our device is designed to measure RR in 15 seconds or less, with an accuracy of ±2 breaths per minute (bpm) of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) gold standard. It consists of a sensor to be clipped on the patient’s clothing over the abdomen or taped to the skin on the patient’s stomach. A data acquisition system records motion of the sensor due to breathing, and translates that to a RR frequency for nurse to record. Incorporating this technology into the triage workflow does not increase the average time it currently takes to measure vitals, 160 seconds. The device is designed to causes little to no discomfort to the patient, so as not to interfere with the patient’s true RR.

Read the Johns Hopkins University privacy statement here.