Artificial olfaction improves health

Artificial olfaction is an important healthcare tool. It can provide diagnosis and support for people with medical conditions.

Identifying illness

Diseases such as pneumonia can be difficult to diagnose using current techniques. For example, chest x-rays show changes which could represent infection, tumour, fluid or a number of other causes.

Artificial olfaction offers accurate non-invasive techniques to warn of illness and monitor disease. It recognises patterns in the unique mixtures of exhaled gas produced by bacteria. This means appropriate treatment can be provided.

GOSPEL partners are investigating areas including:

  • Breath and body volatiles as a new diagnostic technique for conditions such as lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • New technologies for asthma management

Knowledge and experience in the GOSPEL network can enhance clinical research. The network represents the best expertise in the development of AO technology and applications.

Care and monitoring

Artificial olfaction can improve wellbeing and quality of life.

It can be used to support and make the elderly feel safe in their homes. This is increasingly important as the European population ages.

Functions which can be provided by artificial olfaction include a smart fire detector and an environment sensor to detect odours such as urine.

Artificial olfaction also has potential to monitor conditions such as asthma and COPD.

GOSPEL has supported the development of an Integrated Project, Netcarity, which was funded under the Ambient Assisted Living call of the IST programme under FP6.

Netcarity – Networked care and security for the elderly in their home environment – aims to extend the independence and improve the quality of life and engagement in society for the elderly. The project began in February 2007 and involves four GOSPEL partners and two associate members.