'Sniffphone' anyone? Scientists developing disease-sniffing smartphone

  • AFP
  • Updated: Feb 04, 2015 16:28 IST

A device that pairs with your smartphone and screens your breath for early detection of potentially life-threatening diseases is in the works at a research consortium at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. Unsurprisingly called the SNIFFPHONE, it's being funded by a grant from the European Commission.

"It will be made tinier and cheaper than disease detection solutions currently, consume little power, and most importantly, it will enable immediate and early diagnosis that is both accurate and non-invasive," says Professor Hossam Haick, head of the consortium.

A combination of micro and nano-sensors will analyze the exhaled breath and send the information through the smartphone to be processed for interpretation -- perhaps in a corresponding app -- which establishes the diagnosis.
The technology is not only capable of early disease detection, it knows if you are likely to contract a specific disease and help you avoid doing so, according to a press release from the American Technion Society.

Breath analysis to detect disease is a developing science.

This past May, Dr Raed Dweik of the Cleveland Clinic in the US published a paper on an experiment in which his team was able to recognize the unique "breathprint" of those with heart failure.

In 2013, Dr Ruchi Mathur developed a breath test that reveals an individual's susceptibility to weight gain.

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