The nearly 10 million Americans who suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease rely on medications and strenuous coughing to help break up the thick gobs of mucus clogging their lungs. The Lung Flute does the job with just 15 to 20 puffs of air. Blowing into the reed instrument (see how it's done here) sends a steady 16-hertz vibration into a user’s chest, dislodging mucus in the lungs so that it’s easier to cough up. Scheduled to receive FDA approval this fall, the flute also serves as an easy method for collecting deep-lung sputum for tuberculosis tests—especially useful in developing countries where TB is prevalent.
For more on how the Lung Flute came to be, see our Innovator Profile on inventor Sandy Hawkins.