Toshiba unveils disease-detecting breathalyser

Mar 18, 2014
Japan's electronics giant Toshiba unveils the prototype model of a breathalyser which can detect a wide range of diseases just 30 seconds after users blow into the machine, at the company's headquarters in Tokyo, on March 18, 2014

Japan's Toshiba on Tuesday unveiled a breathalyser which it says can detect a wide range of diseases just 30 seconds after users blow into the machine.

The device, about the size of a small dishwasher, has a nozzle in which users blow several times.

It then analyses the puffs for traces of several gases which can signal the presence of several including diabetes, stomach ailments and even the ordinary hangover.

"A breath exhaled into the machine is irradiated with an , and then trace gases are detected" the company said in a statement.

The gases include acetaldehyde, methane and acetone, all of which can point to the presence of various health problems.

Toshiba said it would expand the number of gases—and diseases—that its machine can detect, with an eye to starting commercial production next year.

The healthcare segment is a key unit for Toshiba, which is best known for its consumer electronics.

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