Finally in the news this week. What if you could test that CHF patient you have with a special breathalyzer that tests for heart disease, heart failure or even myocardial infarction? That could be coming soon to the back of an ambulance near you.

Cleveland Clinic Heart Failure Research

Senior Woman in AmbulanceResearchers at the Cleveland Clinic tested the hypothesis with a small group of patients and found that they could predict the presence of heart failure in 100% of the diagnosed patients without any false positives or negatives. The test detects the presence of a small group of VOCs or volatile organic compounds present in a person’s breath.

In this case they looked for Acetone and Pentane at higher than normal levels that indicated heart failure. Similar technologies are being developed for people with diabetes as an alternative to drawing blood through finger sticks.

New Non-invasive Diagnostics

The options could be huge and wide ranging as this is a relatively new concept partly because the ability to easily detect the presence and accurately determine the levels of VOCs in exhaled air has only recently been perfected. The future could hold great changes in the way we diagnose disease in patients, using much less invasive tests to confirm the diagnosis than we use currently.

CT scans and MRIs may be much seen much less frequently as the patient’s own breath contains the secret to what is ailing them. I’ll keep you up to date on this and other health care technology both here and over to my other show, Health Tech Weekly (at so stay tuned.


Follow-up on the link for this and other news items as well as all of the additional resource links in the show notes for this episode — Barefoot Nurse Kelly Arashin, EMS Today and Episode 329.


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