Noze’s blog on how smell will redefine healthcare
Smell has been used as a powerful tool in disease diagnostics by humans for centuries. Ancient Greek and Chinese civilizations used it to detect infectious diseases like tuberculosis. Soldiers on battlefields, ripe with conditions for the development of flesh-eating diseases, used it to detect gangrene. And emergency rooms throughout history have relied on it to recognize diabetic ketoacidosis. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. Scent detection, if harnessed properly, can change the world of disease screening and diagnostics forever.
In the natural world, animals astound us with their ability to detect diseases through smell. Studies have proven that diseases emit unique odors in the form of volatile compounds. Dogs, for instance, can detect the distinct odor associated with epileptic seizures, while wound infections release a telltale “fruity” scent. Astonishingly, animals’ smelling abilities often rival or surpass standard diagnostic methods.