Mobile phones to diagnose via breathalyzer?

By Brian Dolan
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Applied NanodetectorsA UK nanotech company reportedly developed a mobile phone prototype with Nokia that can detect various diseases or medical conditions from a user's breath. The company, Applied Nanodetectors, claims the device can detect asthma, diabetes, lung cancer, breath odor, breath alcohol concentration and a certain type of food poisoning, according to Nikkei Electronics. The company demoed its prototype at the recent International Nanotechnology Exhibition and Conference in Japan.

The chip reportedly determines the composition of the user's breath and tabulates the density of certain gases present, including CO2, NOx and ammonia. The software then matches the results to characteristics of various diseases and determines whether the user might have a given disease or medical condition. It is similar to fingerprint matching, Applied Nanodetectors' Managing Director Victor Higgs said.

"We ed Nokia first because mobile phone manufacturers have more influence than carriers in Europe," Higgs said. "But we are intending to discuss business with carriers in Japan because they are more influential in this country. If the handset is commercialized in Japan, it will be just a matter of time before the handset spreads all over Asia."

For more on the report . See below for a video report from Reuters about the nanotechnology company winning an award in the UK last fall.

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