Technology Noses Ahead
British scientists have developed a
novel medical test based on ancient Chinese methods for diagnosing disease.
The test named Diag-Nose, uses cutting edge technology to "sniff out"
disease. A number of medical conditions produce a characteristic odor, and
identification is a difficult process due to the subjective nature of human
smell, said researchers Dr. Selly Saini and Jan Leiferkus of the Cranfield
University Postgraduate Medical School.
To solve the problem, they have developed an artificial nose that
electronically identifies scents. It uses the same process human noses do,
except odors are classified electronically, thereby avoiding human bias.
The technology will dramatically reduce the diagnosis time for Urinary
Tract Infections, UTIs, the investigators said. Second only to respiratory
infections in the number of cases, UTIs rank first among adult bacterial
diseases requiring medical attention.
Current tests take between 24 and 48 hours and are sent away to a
laboratory. Diag-Nose returns results in a matter of hours and can be
installed in most doctor's offices, the researchers said.