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Physiologically Interactive Music (PIM)– Respiratory Biofeedback/Medical Technologies with Music

The control of breathing patterns is essential in both the treatment of many anxiety-based disorders through biofeedback methods and in the successful application of various medical procedures. Because music exists through time, it is the ideal stimulus for structuring the timing of inhalations and exhalations. Physiologically Interactive Music (PIM), developed by a researcher at Utah State University, adjusts the tempo (or other musical elements) within a music selection in a mathematical relationship to a physiological response (i.e., respiration or heart rates) in order to entrain and influence the response. Methods include altering the tempo of the music or overlaying an independent track to any kind of prerecorded music. Broad market opportunities exist in biofeedback and other medical applications that focus on controlling breathing patterns.
Features and Benefits
  • Respiratory/HRV biofeedback for:
    • High blood pressure
    • Anxiety, insomnia, apnea
    • Asthma, COPD
  • Mechanical ventilation
    • Synchronization
    • Weaning
  • Control of breathing during imaging procedures
  • Using preprogrammed protocols, interactive music serves as a personal coach, prompting, supporting, and motivating responses
  • Interactive music increases user relaxation through focus on music, instead of continually monitoring visual feedback or adhering to periodic auditory cues (beeps, clicks, etc.)
  • Listening to preferred interactive music elicits and maintains attention and promotes relaxation
Using music of the listener’s choice or from a predetermined menu, PIM enables control of an activity’s frequency (e.g., respiration) through a method that presents the listener with a combined base track of prerecorded music (base tempo) and a rhythmic musical track (activity tempo). The activity tempo, which can be preprogrammed, manual, or interactive based on sensor feedback, is altered to influence the pace of the activity. For example, because respiration rates are slower than music tempos, a special instrumental track (swelling strings, etc.) is added over the base tempo of a music selection to prompt inhalations and exhalations. Depending on the application, the base track may be continuously synchronized with the activity track.
Development Stage
One issued patent and one pending utility patent:
U.S. Patent Application No. 20090260506
U.S. Patent No. 5,267,942
Allan Wood
Commercialization Associate
Technology Commercialization Office
(435) 797-2515
Reference: W07045