As a preemptive response to the widespread need for respiratory medical devices developing in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we propose a low-cost incentive spirometer for respiratory rehabilitation in patients with reduced lung function. An incentive spirometer manufactured entirely out of recyclable material, termed “Paperometer,” aims to address the multifaced problem of medical device inaccessibility: high cost, lack of user- or environmental-friendliness, and unavailability to those who need them the most. Operating in accordance with governing physical formulae including Ohm’s law and the Hagen-Poiseuille equation, Paperometer is intended to improve the user’s lung function through repeated use of the device, which facilitates slow, deep breaths of air. Several prototypes were created based on a list of design criteria established through background research and stakeholder interviews. From four initial prototypes, all created predominantly from simple foldable geometries, one design was selected for further iteration. The most promising functional prototype was crafted from recyclable plastic and paper folded into various shapes including a box, tube, and pinwheel. The Paperometer concept stands as an innovative solution to reduce the cost and environmental burden of meeting the demand for medical devices. Once validated, the device may serve as an important tool in combating the ongoing global pandemic.

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