Siemens has developed a sensor that can warn users of constricted airways a day before asthma attacks occur. The sensor works by measuring the level of nitrogen monoxide (NO) on a patient’s breath to find out if their bronchial tubes have been inflamed. Usually inflammation happens long before an attack, and knowing when it will happen is half the battle won. Patients can then go to hospitals for the appropriate treatment before anything happens. Currently devices like these exist, but they are much too large and bulky to bring along everywhere. The new sensor from Siemens is much smaller and is about the size of a mobile phone. In addition to detecting the levels of NO in patients, the device can be modified to detect other types of gasses so it can be used for other purposes such as detecting fires and possibly the detection of lung cancer in the future.
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