The NHS Emergency Medicine Doctor Raising Funds to Produce Life Saving Asthma and COPD ‘Smart Garment’

Phil Alton, Founder of Senti

A NHS Emergency Medicine Doctor is raising funds to start production of his tech-enabled t-shirt that helps Asthma and COPD sufferers. The Senti ‘smart garment’ has been designed to autonomously monitor chest health and predict the onset of attacks. The product is aiming to improve the quality and length of life of those with respiratory conditions and has the potential to save the NHS an estimated £4bn each year.

The inspiration behind the Senti smart garment came from NHS Emergency Medicine Doctor Phil Alton’s direct experience in managing patients with Asthma and COPD. Having noticed significant problems with typical stethoscope auscultations, including the variations and limitations in findings, Dr Phil Alton set about to revolutionise the treatment of chronic respiratory conditions. Working with NHS professionals, software developers and a user panel of Asthma and COPD sufferers, he has developed an autonomous home-auscultation device.

Tragically 1 in 3 people who die from Asthma in the UK die without calling for help, and 1 in 10 of those who do, die before help arrives. Aside from addressing a £3.65bn annual market opportunity in the UK alone, Senti operates on the belief that autonomous home monitoring of chest sounds will prevent hospital admissions and save countless lives.

Senti’s smart garment incorporates unobtrusive sensors into a comfortable T-shirt that listens to the user’s chest sounds as they sleep. Moving from a ‘snapshot’ stethoscope reading to a continuously monitored, data-rich view of a person’s chest health.

The device provides accurate insights into their users overall condition, and the likelihood of respiratory attacks. Used alongside hospital care, Clinicians are able to identify flare-ups earlier and proactively intervene before a patient becomes unwell.

One Senti prototype user Jack 27 from Whiston commented, “I think some people don’t realise asthma can be fatal and that living with severe asthma is a daily challenge. I’ve had asthma from a really young age, so I’m used to living and coping with asthma attacks, now with the added fear of coronavirus it’s an even more terrifying condition. The t-shirt and app have allowed me to relax a lot more, being able to check my lung condition each day and chances of an attack gives me a lot of reassurance.”

Having already secured a £150,000 grant from NHS-X via their AI in Health and Care grant fund, Senti is raising further funds via an equity crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs. The fundraise will allow the team to complete a clinical feasibility study and efficacy trial in order to start production of the smart garment. The device’s remote patient monitoring ability appealed to the NHS-X panel with the potential to offer safe care to some of the most at risk COVID-19 patient groups.

Dr Phil Alton commented, “The problem is that we have been listening to what the lungs can tell us, for the past 200 years, with two rubber tubes attached to a metal cone. Where the stethoscope captures only a snapshot of a patient’s lung health, Senti will provide the complete picture. Imagine what the world would be like for the hundreds of millions of asthma and COPD sufferers if their lungs could tell them exactly what was wrong, how their treatment was progressing, and precisely what to do about it? Senti will do just that.”


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