Wouldn’t it be handy, not to mention painless and uncomplicated, if our smartphone cases could detect whether we have lung cancer or diabetes? While we’re not sure if and when such a device would actually go into production, it does exist thanks to the research and development by NASA.
The implementation of such a gadget has been designed in such a way that it could even see some form of integration into a smartphone case. It is a chip that houses 32 nanosensor bars that react to a variety of stimuli from the environment. Each bar is said to be composed of a different nanostructure material and could even provide real-time monitoring.
For example there has been some studies that show some form of correlation between lung cancer and nitrous oxide, and diabetes and the level of acetone in a diabetic’s breath, so simply by breathing on the sensors, elevated levels of nitrous oxide and acetone could be an indicator of lung cancer/diabetes respectively.
Of course we don’t expect these readings to be a guarantee/diagnosis that you have lung cancer/diabetes, but for those who wish to check on their health at regular intervals, such a device could prove to be handy and potentially cheaper than trips to the doctor. Apart from medical applications, NASA is also looking at the military aspect as well where the chip can be used to help detect chemical threats.