Star Trek inspired detection unit offers test free diagnosis

Written by: Laura Hopperton | Published:

A £1million, non invasive disease detection facility that integrates cutting edge technologies from the worlds of emergency medicine, space research and chemistry has been developed by Doctors at the University of Leicester.

The Stark Trek inspired Diagnostics Development Unit is designed to detect the sight, smell and feel of disease without the use of invasive probes, blood tests, or other time consuming and uncomfortable procedures.

Funded by the university and the Higher Education Funding Council, the facility utilises three main sets of instruments.

The first analyses gases present in a patient's breath, while the second uses imaging systems and technologies to search for signs of disease via the surface of the human body. The third uses a suite of monitors to look inside the body and measure blood flow and oxygenation in real time.

The combination of these technologies in this fashion is said to be a world first. It is hoped that the detection unit can be used in the early diagnosis of a range of diseases such as sepsis, bacterial infections such as C.Difficile and even some cancers.

"Diagnosis in emergency care is putting together a jigsaw of information to create a picture that gives you the diagnosis," said University of Leicester Professor Tim Coats, who led the project. "We hope that this technology is going to give us more pieces to the jigsaw to make that picture clearer, earlier on."

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