The medical industry is full of repackaged ideas in the sphere of health tracking and mobile sensors. For a change of pace, however, nanotech sensor start-up Adamant Technologies is developing a chemical sensor, akin to the human nose, to track chemical markers in your breath. Sam Khamis started Adamant 2 years ago with the goal of developing a sensor capable of providing consumer functions (metabolic rate estimation), chronic disease management (asthma tracking), and monitoring early warning signs for infectious disease. Khamis tellsMedgadget that the technology is intended to be a passive monitoring system, employed in a smartphone case or something similar. As the user interacts with the phone, the sensor will monitor chemical markers in the breath and relay the information to a suite of applications on the smartphone.
According to Khamis, the sensor is the result of inspiration drawn from nature. In the past, similar concepts were designed to have one sensor per chemical marker, making every device a specialized one, and increasing the complexity. Adamant’s technology, however, is based on the same principles as the human nose: use one sensor to measure all ~300 chemicals in the breath, and identify a chemical fingerprint based on previously programmed information. That is, during its developmental phase, the chemical sensor is being exposed to chemical combinations that indicate various disorders. Khamis says that there are approximately 1-5 chemicals per disorder, and that the sensor should be capable of identifying more than one disease at a time, similarly to how the human nose can identify more than one scent at a time.
Khamis tells Medgadget that this technology has a multi-device future, making it a platform technology that can be integrated into other things. That is, Adamant’s sensor may not be limited to smartphones and mobile devices, but could be adapted to a wide variety of medical tools. Furthermore, the devices that will be available to consumers employing this technology should differ from those available to medical professionals.