Skip to main content

Could Future Smartphones Have E-Noses To Detect Illnesses?

Even if this sounds too Sci-Fi for most people, scientists have already come up with the idea of smartphones used to diagnose diseases. Researchers at the California Institute of Technology are working on sensors, capable of detecting chemical vapours.

The team leader, Nate Lewis, believes that once it reaches a final stage, the technology will be available for the average consumer. The sensors, which now fill an entire lab, will become small enough to fit in a portable gadget, such as an iPhone.

The technology will also become affordable. The applications are numerous and it's only a question of imagination, to figure out the use of such electronic noses.

From sniffing out dangerous products, like bombs or harmful gases in certain environments, to the applications in medicine - the e-nose could do it all. The iPad is already being used to measure the user's vital signs, such as heart and breathing rate.

Now, it seems it's only a matter of time until doctors will be able to use an iPhone to diagnose their patients. "You wouldn't need to send samples off to a lab, you would immediately be able to start treatment", explains Lewis's grad student, Heather McCraig.

Source: TechnologyReview

Radu has been working as a freelance writer for more than five years and has been blogging around since 2004. He is interested in anything Apple as well as gaming and mobile applications.