The ‘SniffPhone’ is a small plug-in module for smartphones that can detect disease from exhaled breath.
Screening for cancer and other diseases could be made easy with this smartphone plug-in
The SniffPhone Project aims to develop a small plug-in module for a smart phone that can detect disease from exhaled breath. A device like this would be invaluable in broad screening efforts for cancer. An ideal screening test need to meet several criteria: highly accurate – low in cost – easy to use – comfortable for the patient – easily repeatable. The SniffPhone project has the potential to develop a tool that will be all of these things.
High Tech that is Low Maintenance for patients and doctors — How it works
SniffPhone is a compact handheld device that measures exhaled breath for early diagnosis of cancer. The user holds the device in front of his or her mouth, and exhales onto the SniffPhone.
The device then takes a sample of the exhaled breath and measures the contained Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) using highly sensitive nanotechnology-based chemical sensors.
The measurements are sent via Bluetooth using a smartphone to a dedicated cloud platform, where they are analysed by the appropriate medical personnel.
In this way, SniffPhone has an unparalleled advantage over traditional screening methods: the device is comfortable and painless to use and provides a simple and cost-effective alternative for medical professionals.
Thus, SniffPhone has an unparalleled advantage over traditional screening methods: the device is comfortable and painless to use and provides a simple and cost-effective alternative for medical professionals.
The diagnostic device offers unparalleled monitoring in cases of ongoing treatment
In addition to pre-screening, the new SniffPhone add-on device would have the potential to be utilised as an on-going treatment diagnostic tool.
The fact that a patient is able to take countless diagnostic measurements at different time points during the day in a practically effortless manner is a great advantage.
Moreover, the wealth of data generated by these tests may be automatically processed and analysed to generate a continues and comprehensive surveillance report to be evaluated periodically by the treating doctor.
Indeed the chain of events described above may actually convert a person’s typical every day private life environment to a very sophisticated monitoring environment, circumventing the need for long post-treatment hospitalisation periods.
Although still in development the SniffPhone is no gimmick
While the idea may sound fanciful, it’s a concept being taken very seriously and prototypes are undergoing rigorous testing. The project has some influential partners, collaborators and backers:
The SniffPhone project is financed under the EU’s Horizon 2020 Programme for research, technological development and demonstration.
The SniffPhone was developed by a consortium of nine partners from six countries.
- The nanosensors of the SniffPhone were developed in Israel
- The micropump by Cellix in Ireland
- Fluidics by Microfluidic ChipShop in Germany
- The cloud platform by VTT in Finland.
- The clinical studies were carried out at the University of Latvia in Riga
- with further testing and technical experimentation done in Austria at the University of Innsbruck
Siemens has taken part in the testing and validation phase of the SniffPhone project and conducted usability studies.
JLM Innovation, Germany provides system integration, the device software, the SniffPhone App and algorithms for the measurement system.
The 2018 Innovation Award was granted on the 21st of November in Lisbon, at the European Forum for Electronic Components and System (EFECS). SniffPhone was chosen from many highly qualified projects as the Most Innovative Concept in Horizon 2020.
Project Coordinator Prof. Hossam Haick from the Technion Institute of Technology in Israel and Dr. Jan Mitrovics, CEO of JLM Innovation GmbH received the award at the official ceremony.