Doctors have long been able to use the nose as a diagnostic tool, but not every doctor has access to one. Likewise, dogs and other animals have an incredible sense of smell, but they’re expensive (or at least not readily available) and not always ethical. Researchers at Warwick University developed electronic noses. Recently a new robotic system that can identify volatile organic compounds has developed by Zhejian University.
Electronic nose, is based on the ability of a dog's sensitive nose to recognize the scents
In a dog’s sniff, the scent receptors in their nose detect molecules and particles floating in the air. These tiny molecules may be released by bacteria or viruses. Dogs have up to 300 million olfactory receptors per square centimeter of their nasal membrane, compared with six million for humans. The result? Dogs can smell cancer in a person’s breath from as far as 20 feet (6 meters).
The electronic nose is based on the ability of a dog’s susceptible nose to recognize scents associated with certain illnesses. This technology has already been used for medical purposes such as detecting tuberculosis or pneumonia.
Dogs have been trained to detect diseases such as cancer by smelling a patient’s breath and are better than any artificial smell technology at detecting these odors. Dogs can smell the odors associated with certain diseases, such as breast cancer in women or prostate cancer in men. Dogs can detect these odors in a patient’s breath, making them an extremely effective tool for early detection of these diseases long before symptoms appear.
Dogs are not always readily available at all times or acceptable for ethical reasons. However, this technology has been proven very effective in the early detection of some cancers and other illnesses through artificial smell detection machines that detect compounds associated with certain diseases.
Furthermore, dogs are expensive to buy and train, not always available at all times, and not always acceptable for ethical reasons. In addition, dogs are not always appropriate for all patients or diseases and may be inappropriate in other situations.
The concept of Robot noses device is based on the ability of a dog’s highly sensitive nose to recognize the scents associated with certain illnesses. For example, dogs have been trained to detect diseases such as cancer by smelling a patient’s breath, blood or urine samples. The electronic nose uses sensors that are identical to those found in pet dogs’ noses, but it also uses advanced computer processing capabilities to interpret and identify these scents.
The developers of this device hope that it will be able to aid doctors in diagnosing patients faster than they can currently do so with traditional methods
The robotic nose may also be able to help monitor patients during treatment to detect whether it is working or not.
For instance, the prognosis of cancer treatment could be monitored by this technology which would be crucial for patients’ lives and a more accurate treatment plan by doctors.
The sensors in conjunction with molecular imaging approaches can potentially monitor whether the patient’s condition is improving.
Robotic Noses could be cost-efficient
The electronic nose could also make money-saving efficiencies in hospitals. For example, if a patient arrives at a hospital having fainted, doctors will routinely check him/her for signs of conditions such as diabetes which can cause fainting spells.
But the researchers’ device might be able to do this job more cheaply and efficiently than humans, who would have to take blood or urine samples and send them off for analysis with expensive equipment.
The researchers add that their device has already been tested on blood samples and found it could detect diabetes with a 95 percent success rate compared with 85 percent when done manually by doctors alone.
This new technology could revolutionize the healthcare industry and save many lives. It is also important to note that it is far less expensive than using dogs, which are not always available at all times or suitable for ethical reasons. Read more on The Future of Artificial Intelligence in Medicine here.
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