Artificial intelligence startup Noze said on Tuesday it has obtained a $1 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a breathalyzer that detects volatile organic compound (VOC) breath biomarkers.
Its aim is to develop a platform that enables rapid screening and diagnostic testing for infectious diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis that impact millions of people, particularly in developing countries, Noze said.
Diagnostic tests that use the breath for diagnosis are in their infancy. Nonetheless, exhaled breath has the potential to provide a picture of a person's current health due to the efficient exchange that takes place between the blood and the air in the lungs.
Many different diseases are represented in the breath through their unique metabolic biomarkers; these are being targeted by Noze's platform with the aim of enabling low-cost and rapid diagnostic testing.
The long-term goal of the current initiative is to enable global access to a reliable detection device that can help reduce the spread of diseases, identify the need for treatment as early as possible, and improve patient outcomes in developing countries, said Montreal-based Noze, which was formerly called Stratuscent.