Smart Phone for Disease Detection from Exhaled Breath

Duration: 42 months
Abstract: This project aims to achieve easy to use non-invasive wide spread health screening through testing of exhaled breath coupled with the development of an advanced smartphone solution. Extensive screening and detection of a disease can dramatically decrease morbidity and mortality.1-3 Early detection often enables prompt treatment initiation, increasing the prospect of the best possible therapy outcome for the patient. The purpose of screening investigations is to reveal a group of individuals from the general population in whom the likelihood of the disease is increased and who could benefit from further diagnostic evaluation.1-3 Such screening investigations may thereby increase survival rates for patients who are diagnosed at the earliest possible detectable stage of development of a particular disease. Moreover, these screening programs may enable diagnoses of high-risk conditions for development of a given disease. By identifying and managing these high-risk conditions, there is a possibility to prevent the disease development, and, therefore, decrease not only morbidity and mortality, but also the incidence of the disease.2,4 Monitoring of individuals with identified high-risk conditions is important in terms of determining the point at which the disease begins to progress, possibly to transform from benign to malignant, and planning an interventional strategy for such individuals.4 There are still many UNMET needs for an ideal screening test.4,5 The accuracy of tests currently available in existing screening programs is not reaching the desired levels, while new developments (e.g. molecular diagnostic tests) are highly priced.4,5 As an example, the most widely used guaiac test (Hemoccult, price about 3 EUR per episode of testing excluding the workforce) to determine occult blood in faeces for colorectal cancer screening has a sensitivity of about 40% for cancer and high-grade dysplasia detection, with a higher sensitivity (up to 80%) achieved by repeating the testing. The available molecular tests have similar detection sensitivity for cancer (40-70%), but the price for single-time testing currently is about 270 EUR. Cost-efficacy modelling analysis has demonstrated that even if the sensitivity of these tests could be increased close to 100%, they hardly would be cost-effective for population-based screening programs at this price level4,5.



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