The SNIFFPHONE could revolutionise early cancer detection

Professor Hossam Haick at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology designed a product that pairs with a smartphone to detect lung cancer.

The SNIFFPHONE is Israeli Professor Hossam Haick’s system for the early detection of lung cancer. By combining smartphone technology with his unique breathalyser technology, the award-winning professor has come up with an easy and accurate way to detect cancer, which involves screening a user’s breath. The new technology has the potential to advance early-stage diagnosis, especially in rural regions of the developing world where medical testing equipment is scarce.

Professor Haick’s SNIFFPHONE is said to be a more efficient alternative to current methods of testing for lung cancer, which are often exhaustive, invasive and costly. The technology is based on the fact that lung cancer tumours produce certain chemicals called volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that release a distinct smell profile. The size of a tumour is related to the potency of the smell, which helps in identifying the stage of development.

The SNIFFPHONE technology comes equipped with tiny sensors that are able to identify any trace of VOCs in a user’s exhaled breath. After a screening, the results are fed through a connected smartphone to a processing system, which assesses the information and forms a diagnosis. The diagnosis is said to have a high accuracy rate based on a test, which sorted healthy patients from those with lung cancer. 

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