Scientists Develop a Breathalyzer That Detects 17 Diseases With A Single Breath

Imagine a single handheld device that could detect most of the possible diseases within seconds without you having to pay for a separate laboratory test costing a fortune? While it seems like a dream, a device has actually been created that could diagnose 17 diseases by just blowing into it!

An international team of 56 researchers revealed this astonishing breaalyzer in a monthly, peer-reviewed medical journal ACS Nano,  published by the American Chemical Society. They announced their development of the breathalyzer which is based on artificial intelligence and can diagnose up to 17 distinct diseases, which includes major ones such as lung cancer, ovarian cancer, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and even chronic kidney disease.

Credit: Nakhleh, M.K. et al. ACS Nano (2016)

Even more amazingly, the prototype boasts an 86 percent accuracy rate, which makes it a truly special concept. To diagnose a disease, the breathalyser analyses your breath using an arrangement of nanoscale sensors which can detect microscopic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can differentiate the disease. Then the breathalyzer compares this information with its database to diagnose the disease and their VOC concentration patterns.

The strategy is successful, because

“each disease has its own unique breath print”

as said by the researchers in the paper.

In the video above, the researchers mull over the effect of the project on the healthcare facilities around the globe, and a future where a person can detect any disease using the breathalyzer’s technology and a smartphone.

Credit: Nakhleh, M.K. et al. ACS Nano (2016)

This device can have a global impact, as according to a 2010 study by World Health Organization (WHO), lack of resoruces was one of the most potent factor behind the scarcity of life-saving medical equipment in the developing countries. This held back adequate preventative care efforts along with hampering the overall public health.

Says research team member Dr. Nisreen Shehada:

“I am hoping that more people will be tested and that way we can diagnose cancer at much earlier stages…. that’s the key to saving lives.”

The researchers need to refine the product a little more before they start shipping it around the globe.

What are your thoughts on this revolutionary device?

Comment below!

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