New Wearable Device Could Provide Early Warnings of COPD Flareups


California-based startup Samay is developing a wearable device called Sylvee that has the potential to detect early signs of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbations. COPD exacerbations can be life-threatening, so early detection and intervention are critical. The Sylvee wearable is named after the CEO’s grandmother, Sylvia, who passed away due to complications caused by COPD.

The Sylvee device is taped to the patient’s chest and continuously monitors the acoustic resonance of the lungs as the person goes about their daily routine. It is wirelessly connected to an app on the user’s smartphone or tablet, which utilizes artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms to analyze the received signal.

When the Sylvee device detects the characteristic sound of “air trapping” while the patient is breathing, it alerts the user through the app. Air trapping is a condition in which air does not leave the lungs during exhalation and is strongly linked to COPD exacerbations. Importantly, air trapping can occur several days before other symptoms of a COPD flareup appear.

A recent clinical trial of the Sylvee device involved 110 volunteers, including healthy individuals, asthmatics, and those with COPD. The device was found to be 83% accurate at detecting air trapping compared to pulmonary function testing, which requires expensive equipment and can only be conducted in a hospital setting. As the technology continues to be developed, the accuracy of the Sylvee device is expected to improve.

The Sylvee device is currently awaiting approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is not yet available for commercial use. Individuals interested in the device can sign up for updates on the Samay website.

Overall, the Sylvee wearable shows promise in providing early warnings of COPD flareups by monitoring lung function in real-time. This early detection could potentially save lives and improve the management of COPD for individuals living with the condition.



  1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
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