What your breath could reveal about your health | Julian Burschka

There’s no better way to stop a disease than to catch and treat it early, before symptoms occur. That’s the whole point of medical screening techniques like …


  1. I would really like to know if this is connected to how dogs have been noted to be able to tell when their owner has cancer or other diseases, before they have ever even been diagnosed, or symptoms have become obvious.

  2. As a smoking cessation counselor I used a Carbon Monoxide monitor which measured the parts per million of carbon monoxide in a smoker or even non smokers' lungs. Its a very helpful device which can assist in delivery advice and treatment to smokers who are ready to quit smoking. I say 'ready to quit' because even though smokers were curious to know the reading which very accurately revealed how much they smoked, if the level of addiction was high the smoker may be in denial and still struggle with the will to quit.

  3. 5:14
    "The essential part is a sensor device that detects the volatile organic compounds in our breath."

    "Not everything is as easy as it sounds. There are technical
    challenges. For example; there's the need for extremely reliable sensors
    that can detect mixtures of volatile organic compounds with sufficient


    Interesting subject, though.

  4. I had a hair client whose breath had a strange odor. It was not like normal bad breath. She ended up being diagnosed with a rare kind of cancer in her abdomen and passed away. I always wondered if it was an indicator of something being off. Now I see it probably was. I hope this research continues. Telling someone their breath is odd might save their life.

  5. This doesn't surprise me. I work in CT and I've often thought about how medicine began.
    And I imagine that thousands of years ago there was someone in your village that had a skill for examining people and determining if they were sick and what type of sickness they had.
    Yes, the knowledge was primitive, but it was common to poke and prod…….. and ask them to open their mouth and examine the tongue, teeth, saliva and breath.
    The body has a remarkable way of telling us what is wrong. We just need to listen to it.

  6. This technology is brilliant. Pity it won’t ever be implemented. Just like good breathing fixes just about everything but you’ll never hear any “doctors” mentioning it.

  7. The scary part is that this initiative goes against the interest of money-making monsters health and pharma industries that exist mostly to treat and make money, not to cure.

  8. The mouth is one (if not the one) of the most dirtiest parts of the human body.

    Some people's dental care is poor, a test would have to combate this.

    I like the idea, it will no happen soon though too many big corporations would be prevented from charging stupid money for testing equipment.

  9. Why would I ever regret knowing about a potential disease in by body? I would feel safe that it has been diagnosed on time.
    The medical system in my nation is all about making people sick, then mistreating them, and then revelling into the tragedy of the whole situation. It is not because of poverty. State of the Art hospitals provide 0 treatment after 15 visits. I cannot even imagine the plight of economically weaker sections of society.

  10. great and all but big corporations dont want to detect early, that would kill their profits if people dont get sick and need their medications or expensive treatments.

  11. Another BS TED talk. I can't believe how low the quality has gotten over the years. This was so freaking pie-in-the-sky. He provided zero data and this talk could have been given by anyone who simply thought "what if I could detect disease via breath". I highly doubt there is any "substantial data" that breath analysis could detect diseases, especially Alzheimer's. Currently Alzheimer's is diagnosed primarily through history, paper test, and excluding other causes of dementia. The only true diagnosis is post-mortem pathology of the brain. There are no blood tests or radiology scans. If a volatile compound could be detected in the breath to diagnose Alzheimer's, how is it that there isn't a test that could be detected in the blood! From what he says, the volatile compounds are parts per billion in the breath, and presumably would be hundreds of times more concentrated in the blood. Ditto for breast cancer, which can be detected at millimeter sizes. How could a millimeter sized piece of tissue release enough volatile compound to be detected in breath (and again not in the blood)? COPD is already diagnosed by a breath test (it's called pulmonary function testing).

    Amazingly, before even having any sort of proof of concept data shown for a single disease, he jumps to it being portable, cheap and versatile so it could diagnose many diseases at once. Then he jumps to it being so cheap, sensitive, specific and simple that it could be done many times longitudinally in one person. Are you freaking kidding me??? No thought of false positives or false negatives?

    Any of the crap he said could easily be said about an "all in one" blood test, or looking at your retina, or how about some crazy skin analysis. Essentially, he believes he has a tricorder like in Star Trek that magically could diagnose disease. Crazy.

    Recently there have been many bad TED talks, but this is really up there.

  12. As far as I can tell widerange Sensors that can predict anything close to relevant data are and/or will be quite expensive and need big machinery attached to it still. But as with Computers nowadays in our hands as Smartphones probably in a few decades very handy Health-Sensors or Multi-Health-Scanners at a "cheap" price point will get the reality. (hopefully)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.