Sunday, November 15, 2009

Nokia Claims Developing a Disease-detecting Handset

Posted by shah shahid

Nokia Claims Developing a Disease-detecting Handset

So far, 2009 hasn’t particularly been the year of amazing tech-savvy devices being introduced and very few attention-grabbing gadgets have been launched. However, things could get seriously shaken up with Nokia’s latest offering — a handset that can detect diseases of the human body, including mild cases of food poisoning to something as serious as lung cancer or diabetes.

When it comes to devices that are handy-to-carry and are capable of sensing what is wrong with the human metabolism or its functioning, there has been limited technological innovation. The closest that people have come to is detecting the level of alcohol in the blood — breath analyzers, as we call them or oral odor detectors. The most recent technology that combined using the convenience of a mobile handset and human body detectors was reported from Japan. They had launched a mobile phone that had a small breath analyzer installed in it. This novel idea was developed by NTT DoCoMo Inc and is being currently used by more than 15 transport companies.

The new disease-sending handset is currently under development at the UK-based research facility of Applied Nanodetectors (A.N.D.). On preview is a prototype, not very big, that can detect diseases just by examining the breath emitted by people. This first-of-its-kind Nokia mobile phone has an innovative chip embedded with sensors capable of identifying various gases including Nitric Oxide (NOx), CO2 and ammonia (NH3). It was initially seen as just an improved version of a standard breath analyzer but the chip being used is far more accomplished. It can quickly ascertain the user's breath, tabulate the density of every gas and compare it with the composition of a healthy individual. If there are any grave variations, it quickly detects the most possible cause and the corresponding disease.

It is believed that the process of comparing and matching is at par with fingerprinting that is used in crime detection. An example: when someone is having an asthmatic attack, the nitric oxide levels tend to rise alarmingly in the lungs and this would be quickly traced through this device. Not only is this handset capable of detecting a disease, but it is being programmed to automatically inform its user or even the listed family doctor or next-of-kin to ensure that the discovery of a health problem isn't ignored!
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