An idea leads to a research project for which an instrumental set-up is needed

AMC clinical physiologist Peter Sterk’s idea to explore the use of e-nose technology for diagnosis of lung disease has really payed off. His brand-new ‘SpiroNose’ breath analyser will shortly become available for hospitals and general practices. Sterk is confident about the clinical validation studies that are now underway: “The SpiroNose will be a formidable addition to the diagnosis of asthma, COPD, lung cancer and other pulmonary diseases. It offers a fast and reliable first assessment, even without testing blood or sputum. Since we integrated it with common spirometry, it comes without any additional effort for the patient.” With the aid of IXA the SpiroNose was developed in cooperation with the Dutch specialist e-nose firm Comon Invent.

With multiple sensors it profiles a few thousand molecules in the patient’s exhaled air. These data are then analysed in real-time by comparing them with thousands of other profiles stored online in a ‘BreathCloud’, employing Artificial Intelligence based self-learning algorithms. Although he did not foresee all this at the onset of his research, Sterk was more than happy to put a lot of effort in developing the SpiroNose. “That’s how it goes: an idea leads to a research project for which an instrumental set-up is needed. In fact there you already have the germination of a new product. Because if the research leads to clinically relevant results, of course you then want to make the set-up available for as much doctors as possible!”