Partnership tests smartphone sensor for detecting lung cancer

Vantage Health, an mHealth company developing a proprietary breathalyzer attached to a smartphone for non-invasive lung cancer screening, announced that they have formed a strategic partnership with Scripps Translational Science Institute (STSI), the NIH-sponsored consortium led by San Diego-based Scripps Health.

Redwood City, Calif.-based Vantage Health is developing mobile apps for personalized screening which leverage chemical sensing capabilities inside a small smartphone device.

Through this partnership with Vantage, STSI will provide assistance in the testing, evaluation and detection of certain basic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) using gas chromatography and mass spectrometry to calibrate the results. 

STSI will assist in the testing, evaluation and detection of specific VOCs commonly associated with lung cancer. VOCs in breath provide a noninvasive and quick approach to diagnosing lung cancer in its early stages. STSI and Vantage Health will collaborate in the planning and execution of clinical trials which are expected to be carried out at STSI in San Diego, as well as a second location in the Midwest and a third location in New England.

Last month, Vantage Health announced that it had entered into an exclusive license agreement with NASA to commercialize mobile healthcare products derived from the space agency's patented technology. The agreement with NASA licenses the use of multiple patents relating to inventions in, among other fields, chemical sensing.

The sensor technology, which won the 2012 NASA Government Invention of the Year, has been deployed by the space agency to detect trace gases in the crew cabin on the International Space Station. The sensors have also been tested and used for such applications as trace chemical detection in planetary exploration, air monitoring, leak detection and hazardous agent detection using cell phones.

"This is arguably one of the most vital and exciting steps in our effort to transfer the technology out of the labs at NASA and into the marketplace, as part of our commercialization process," said Jeremy Barbera, chairman and CEO of Vantage Health, in a written statement.

To learn more:
- read the announcement