Science fiction films can use some pretty outlandish devices for just about everything, including medical care. But have you ever thought of acoustic therapy? The "pied piper of mucus" did, and his invention, the Lung Flute, is on its way to FDA approval. I can't possibly make this up. Yes, music to your lungs, or more precisely, for your lungs.
This isn't a B movie, it's science. The Popular Science Best of What's New Health category includes the Lung Flute, a device that uses sound to loosen pulmonary mucus. While that sounds gross, it's potentially a major breakthrough for those who suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD as you may hear in Pharmaceutical ads). The Lung Flute, which looks like a child's toy, generates a hum that moves at the same frequency as cilia in the lungs, which vibrates the chest, and essentially shakes and thins the mucus enough to help move the mucus out of your lungs.
For someone with chronic diseases like Cystic Fibrosis and asthma, this has got to be a godsend. It's also a device that may prove useful in influenza cases.
It's unclear exactly when FDA approval is finalized, according to the Popular Science article says that Medical Acoustics expects the approval any day, as well as the Lung Flute currently being used in Japan.