Researchers from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have developed an instrument named the “Na-Nose” which is capable of detecting up to seventeen diseases just by analyzing a patient’s breath.
The Na-Nose is capable of diagnosing many common but life threatening diseases such as different kinds of cancer, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, two kinds of Parkinson’s disease, ulcerative sclerosis, pre-eclampsia, pulmonary arterial hypertension, multiple sclerosis, as well as chronic kidney disease.
Their study was published in ACS Nano, a nanotechnology journal.
Hossam Haick from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology discussed their study in one of their videos. He discussed the motivation behind the creation of the Na-Nose. “One of the major challenges in the modern era of disease diagnosis is how we can detect the disease when we are still feeling healthy,”
The Na-Nose is highly portable and can detect various diseases at its early stages. Haick, the research team lead, stated that this breathalyzer is also capable of predicting which individuals exhibited high-risk indicators for certain conditions.
In the trials for the study, 1,404 healthy and sick people across 5 countries were included. The results were an average accuracy 86% for the disease classifiers. This percentage however is still not enough for the device to be used as a tool for diagnostic medicine. Team is currently working on improving the device.
Source: YouTube, Technion
How It Works
Once a patient blows on the device, the Na-Nose analyzes over a hundred chemical components of the patient’s breath. These components, some of which may be associated with certain diseases, will then be subjected to rigorous analysis of an artificial intelligence nanoarray. The nanoarray is composed of a series of sensors that is capable of noticing even the tiniest traces of chemicals.
Healthy conditions of a patient’s breath are also programmed into the Na-Nose. If any of the chemical levels and concentrations are above or below the normal stats, especially those that are assigned as disease indicators, then the device will indicate that something is wrong.
This device will certainly, revolutionize the way patients are diagnosed. According to Haick, the team was looking for ways to integrate the device to smartphones so that an innocent phone call could lead to the early detection and preemption of a disease. This development would be very significant in cancer cases! Especially so, since in the case of cancer, early detection can increase the odds of survival from 15% to 90% for breast cancer, 5% to 90% for ovarian cancer, and 14% to 70% for lung cancer.
Hopefully, this device will be improved soon and be deployed in the medical field.