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New breathalyzer can identify 17 diseases


Posted on Wednesday, 4 January, 2017 | Comment icon 5 comments

The technology should make diagnosis much easier. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 CSIRO
Researchers have developed a new device capable of identifying a whole host of different conditions.
The breathalyzer, which can pick up signs of lung cancer, multiple sclerosis and irritable bowel syndrome ( among other diseases ), works by analyzing microscopic compounds in a person's breath to identify the unique 'breathprint' of those conditions.

The idea has actually been around for thousands of years with even the physicians of the ancient world using the smell of a patient's breath to help diagnose what was wrong with them.

In a recent trial, 1400 people from five different countries were invited to try out the breathalyzer. The results showed that it was able to diagnose their afflictions with 86% accuracy.

Described as an "affordable, easy-to-use, inexpensive and miniaturized [tool] for personalized screening, diagnosis and follow-up", the device could ultimately help save thousands of lives.


Source: Live Science | Comments (5)

Tags: Breathalyzer

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Cataclysm on 30 December, 2016, 5:20
Yes.  I know they already have diabetic service dogs which can detect when their owner's blood sugar is not within a healthy level. http://www.eenp.org/main/diabetic My second cousin, an old-style country doctor, was considered remarkable in our county for his ability to often diagnosis by the smell of his patient.  That was probably a good skill to have in those days since he practiced on a whistle and a prayer, diagnostic equipment being rare.  Perhaps they taught it in medical school? I'm thinking that, however, by the time you can smell a cancerous patient the disease must be pretty far pr... [More]
Comment icon #2 Posted by brlesq1 on 30 December, 2016, 9:51
Interesting. I'll have to ask my sister about this. But still, it makes perfect sense--I had a dog that could tell when my illness was about to strike so I could take my meds to ward it off. That'd be great, though--biopsies are no fun.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Cataclysm on 30 December, 2016, 15:05
The second site I posted should have been this one:  http://io9.gizmodo.com/5959395/these-diseases-can-be-diagnosed-by-smell
Comment icon #4 Posted by pallidin on 5 January, 2017, 19:35
I hope this is further developed, as I'm sure it will be. Like others here have said, this approach, in general, has already been formally recognized by medical science when using trained dogs. Thus, must be something to this idea. Best wishes to the dedicated researchers.
Comment icon #5 Posted by paperdyer on 6 January, 2017, 18:51
This could save a lot of lives and hopefully bring down medical costs.


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