Forget about the full body scan, imagine blowing into a breathalyzer and finding out whether or not you have early signs of cancer. Called the “Na-Nose,” researchers have tested a groundbreaking device that uses your breath to diagnose 17 different conditions. Taking a breath sample of 1,404 healthy and sick people across five countries, Na-Nose is 85% accurate with diagnoses according to the study published in the Nanotechnology Journal ACS Nano.
Na-Nose is capable of diagnosing different types of cancer, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, pulmonary arterial hypertension, pre-eclampsia, and chronic kidney disease.
Each device has its own breathprint
Designed as a preventative device, Technion-Isreal Institute of Technology’s Hossam Haick said:
“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.”
When blown into, the Na-Nose can identify over 100 chemical components of our breath. The results will determine high-risk indicators that align with a particular disease and alert the user accordingly.
Relying on artificial intelligence to recognize microscopic traces of chemicals, nanoarray sensors match up the components with the disease. According to a recent Futurism article, the device is programmed for “healthy” conditions. “Should any of the chemical levels and concentrating be above or below normal, it raises a red flag – something is wrong.”
Early detection increases chances of survival
The Na-Nose device can only be described as revolutionary. Being able to diagnose disease and chronic illness just by capturing one’s breath is quite the discovery. As one can imagine, being able to catch diseases in their early stages drastically increases the chances of survival. In breast cancer, early diagnosis increases the chances of survival from 15% to 90%; in ovarian cancer, from 5% to 90%; lung cancer, 14% to 70%. And since diagnosing cancer by traditional methods is considered invasive and painful, Na-Nose will be a welcomed innovation. It simply requires an air sample.
With an 86% accuracy rate, Na-Nose is still not eligible for diagnostic use in medicine. Haick, hoping to someday integrate Na-Nose’s breathalyzer technology with smartphones said, “an innocent phone call could lead to the early detection and preemption of disease.” Whether it’s used for early detection or affirming diagnoses, the presence of one disease does not screen out others. Simply, Na-Nose is capable of recognizing multiple problems if they exist.