London, April 28
It may sound bizarre but breathing test on smart phones that could check for signs of cancer may be available in next two years.
According to scientists at Cambridge University’s spin-off company Owlstone, they are just two years away from developing a small add-on device that simply slots into the base of a mobile.
They have already created a desktop ‘disease breathalyser’ which is proven to work.
“To make a standalone hand-held device, or a module that attaches to a mobile phone, is as little as two years away. It is just a question of getting the investment,” Owlstone co-founder Billy Boyle was quoted as saying.
The device has a fingernail-size microchip that can be programmed to ‘smell’ whatever chemical is of interest.
It can pick up chemicals at incredibly low levels – at parts-per-trillion concentrations.
This makes it ideal for detecting the ‘telltale chemical fingerprints of disease’.
These ‘markers’ can be exhaled in breath, or passed in urine or faeces, the report in Daily Mail added.