Could a Smartphone Detect Lung Cancer?

We’ve all heard of a breathalyzer test — but what about one that can detect lung cancer? A mobile app developer is testing the idea out.

Vantage Health Inc., in partnership with Scripps Translational Science Institute (STSI), is working on enabling a Bluetooth-like device to detect early indications of lung cancer in people.

In theory, the point-of-care device would attach to a person’s Smartphone and through breath analysis, be able to detect certain volatile organic compounds using gas chromatography and mass spectrometry to calibrate the results.

Vantage Health envisions it as a low-cost alternative to CT lung screening, which is the recommended method for detecting the deadly disease. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. — more than prostate, breast, pancreas and colon cancer combined, according to the latest figures from the American Cancer Society.

While the idea isn’t all that new, it’s still a long way away from becoming a reality.

STSI has recently jumped on board to assist with the testing, evaluation and detection of the specific volatile organic compounds that are associated with lung cancer, according to a press announcement from Vantage Health. In addition, STSI and Vantage Health will work together to begin planning the clinical trials, which are expected to be carried out at STSI in San Diego, as well as a location in the Midwest and one in New England.

“This kind of collaboration is essential for the testing and validation of wireless and mobile health technologies. It offers the chance for transformational changes in the way we diagnose and treat a wide range of conditions,” said Dr. Steven Steinhubl, Scripps Health digital medicine director, in a statement.

Vantage Health said it would eventually like to use the sensor technology to detect other types of cancer — like breast and colon cancer — as well as diabetes and even HIV/AIDS.

Vantage Health has been working closely with NASA to commercialize mobile health care products for the agency — one of them being chemical sensing. NASA’s sensor technology, which won the 2012 NASA Government Invention of the Year, has been deployed by the space agency to detect trace gases in the crew cabin on the International Space Station.


by Loren Bonner 

Republished from DOTmed News Online Editor




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