Several chronic respiratory diseases exist of which asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) make up the majority. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 235 million people suffer from asthma and 64 million from COPD worldwide. COPD is predicted to become the third leading cause of death worldwide by 2030  The standard pulmonary function test (PFT) is spirometry which requires the patient to perform a forced expiration maneuver which is highly uncomfortable for the patient and sometimes unfeasible to perform, especially for young children and elderly patients. An improvement in terms of detection, diagnosis and monitoring of these respiratory diseases is thus urgently required and will depend largely on the development of new PFTs together with the improvement of currently available PFTs.
In our department we’re working with the forced oscillation technique (FOT), a noninvasive measurement technique which demands minimal cooperation from the patient. It has the advantage that it can provide insight into the mechanical status of the respiratory system. FOT measures the mechanical impedance of the respiratory system by superimposing small amplitude pressure oscillations (or flow oscillations) onto the patients breathing .
Due to a recently established relationship with DEMCON Macawi Respiratory systems, we received a state-of-the-art respiratory module. In this thesis you will implement and improve the available FOT measurement protocol and data driven modeling tools into this device. We believe that the signal-to-noise ratio of the measurements will strongly be improved regarding the current FOT prototype.
 World Health Organization, “Global surveillance, prevention and control of chronic respiratory diseases: A comprehensive approach,” 2007.
 E. Oostveen, D. MacLeod, H. Lorino, R. Farré, Z. Hantos, K. Desager, and F. Marchal, “The forced oscillation technique in clinical practice: methodology, recommendations and future developments.,” Eur Respir J, vol. 22, pp. 1026–1041, Dec 2003