I have another new medical technology advancement to share with you guys today. This new technology is called the “Biosniffer”. Of course, with a name like this, I am instantly curious as to what this thing is. I have to tell you, the imagery I get when I hear this word is not all that pretty. I needed to set the record straight. So I did my research.
Professor Il-Doo Kim of South Korea is developing a small sensor device that is not only very sensitive, but also very selective to diagnosing very specific disease states from the gases we emit from our breath. More specifically, the sensor is looking for volatile organic compounds within our breath. The presence of these compounds are a potential indicator of a disease state, since volatile organic compounds are not usually found in the breath analysis of a healthy individual. The information about the Biosniffer that I found online gave a few specific examples of information that it could yield — if ammonia was recognized from the breath analysis, it could indicate some kind of kidney malfunction, or the presence of toluene may indicate lung cancer.
Images from its debut article reveal that this piece of technology is not only portable; it could potentially also be wearable. Sensors have been embedded in objects, such as watches and smart phones. What’s also great about these Biosniffers is that they are noninvasive, and they are able to provide instant results. I mean, what could be easier than just exhaling onto a sensor? Amazing!
We have to keep in mind that all diagnoses of conditions must be confirmed by a health care professional, but this is a great way to begin self-monitoring for diseases, as well as potentially catch a condition in its early stages. The sensor is very sensitive, meaning all abnormal levels of gases present in your breath (or even the environment) may show up, but it doesn’t necessarily warrant a firm diagnosis. Although the Biosniffer is still in development, this would be an amazing way to catch a previously undiagnosed condition without the hassle of endless lab tests!
A more in-depth description of the way the sensor works can be found HERE.
Until next time,