Dis­ease breathal­yser wins en­gi­neer­ing prize

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - By Hannah Boland

CAM­BRIDGE-BASED com­pany Owl­stone Med­i­cal has been handed the top en­gi­neer­ing award by the Royal Acad­emy of En­gi­neer­ing, for its breathal­yser and as­so­ci­ated breath stor­age sys­tem that could help with early di­ag­no­sis of a num­ber of in­flam­ma­tory and in­fec­tious dis­eases, and can­cers.

The com­pany’s un­der-de­vel­op­ment “Breath Biopsy” sys­tem is able to cap­ture breath sam­ples, an­a­lyse them for char­ac­ter­is­tics as­so­ci­ated with dis­eases or can­cer and then store them, which will even­tu­ally al­low it to build a data bank of breath pro­files.

Dr Dame Sue Ion, chair­man of the MacRobert Award judg­ing panel, said the breathal­yser “is de­pend­able and non-in­tru­sive, and has the po­ten­tial to rev­o­lu­tionise the way we di­ag­nose and treat a vast ar­ray of dis­eases”.

“The so­ci­etal ben­e­fit is clear to see, and I be­lieve they could re­alise their vi­sion of sav­ing more than a bil­lion dol­lars in global health­care costs and sav­ing hun­dreds of thou­sands of lives,” she said.

The sys­tem is al­ready in use across more than 100 clin­i­cal sites glob­ally.

Owl­stone Med­i­cal’s Breath Biopsy sys­tem has won a major en­gi­neer­ing in­dus­try award

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