Medicinal oxygen increases life expectancy in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the 4th leading cause of death globally. Blood oxygen saturation monitoring is the gold standard for treatment of respiratory illnesses, without knowing oxygen levels, providers cannot treat patients cost effectively. KNO2, a low-cost wrist device that monitors oxygen accurately, would replace today’s cumbersome and costly monitors. KNO2 encourages patients to monitor symptoms by continuously recording them, allowing doctors to quantitatively evaluate disease progression and allowing patients to better understand disease triggers with the device’s flag-buzzing system, reducing emergency room visits. In Latin America, most governments cover COPD patients with public insurance. The team plans to partner with the public sector to include KNO2 in COPD health packages. They will perform preliminary testing in Colombia, followed by secondary testing in Perú. This project will allow 80 million people to reduce preventable morbidity and mortality, all for $25 per unit.
Six years ago, as a junior at UC San Diego, Michael Bakal received a student grant to coordinate a health fair in the indigenous community