New smartphone app tells you if you have cancer

A prototype version of the breathalyser used to detect cancer

Breathing into a smartphone could soon offer early diagnosis of serious diseases such as cancer.

The new 'Sniffphone' will diagnose serious ailments by looking for trace chemicals on people's breath.

It will allow doctors to diagnose cancer without using X-rays or blood tests.

The technology can identify people who are at risk of specific cancers, or ensure that sufferers are diagnosed and treated early.

The Israeli company behind the Sniffphone has just secured a six million euro grant to develop its technology.

It works using a 'breathalyser' add-on which will plug into smartphones, and analyse the gases in users' breaths.

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The micro- and nano-sensors in the peripheral are based on existing cancer-detecting breathalyser technology.

The add-on 'reads' the hundreds of gases in a person's breath, sends the information to the app, which sends it on to lab.

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Creator Professor Hossam Haick of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology says, 'The Sniffphone will be made tinier and cheaper than disease detection solutions currently, consume little power, and most importantly, it will enable immediate and early diagnosis that is both accurate and non-invasive.

'Early diagnosis can save lives, particularly in life-threatening diseases such as cancer.