We are used to breathalyzers, as they are widely put to work to check up the alcohol levels in our systems. But what if some diseases have an individual breath – signature of their own? What if, instead of X – Rays and many other invasive methods, we could just get diagnosed by breathing in a medical device? We told you about many medical technological wonders in the past, but the breakthrough made by doctor Raed Dweik is pretty impressive and is worth describing in detail.
Doctor Dweik is a long – time respected researcher and the head of Cleveland Clinic’s Respiratory Institute’s pulmonary vascular program. In the past 20 years he was concerned with finding a signature – breath for many diseases, as he strongly believes that we can measure our health status just as we measure our alcohol levels. According to him,
A lot of people just think breath is what’s in your lungs. We realize now that anything in your body that is eventually in the blood can be measured in your breath.
Can this be possible? Can we witness fast and accurate cancer diagnosing with a breathalyzer? Doctor Dweik and the ones following his works say we can. And it gets better, as Dweik discovered that we can diagnose not only cancer, but a wider area of illnesses, including lung cancer, liver disease, heart disease, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease and, to top it all, even obesity.
In an ideal world, cancer diagnosing with a breathalyzer should accompany other sets of diagnostic tests and analyses, with the added benefit of being less invasive and less intrusive. Moreover, such test is as accurate as a blood one and might give patients real – time insights on their health status.
But the technology is still far from becoming widely used. There are a lot of clinical trials to be undergone, not to mention that the present devices are not quite wearable. But there is hope, and with visionaries like doctor Dweik, people might actually have a chance to early diagnosis, prevention and early intervention in the case of numerous diseases. According to reporters talking to Dweik,
[quote]The “Holy Grail of breath testing” would be a Breathalyzer-style device that a person could carry in her pocketbook and use anytime, Manufacturers are already working on it. Vantage Health is using NASA technology to develop cancer-screening breath-test devices that could be attached to a smartphone and would relay data to an app.[/quote]
In the meantime, he will look into discovering more and more breathprints for a variety of conditions, pushing the medical and the technological worlds to work even better and closer together.