Julian Burschka: What your breath could reveal about your health
Driven by his curiosity, Julian Burschka is combining multiple technical disciplines with strong business acumen to drive innovation and enable new technological advancements. Full bio
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this habit plays tricks on me.
unexpected pain in my body
and that I cannot attribute,
might turn a tense back into heart disease
into deep vein thrombosis.
with any deadly or incurable disease.
for no clear reason.
50 million people die worldwide.
economies like ours,
by slowly progressing diseases:
cancer, Alzheimer's, diabetes,
in diagnosing and treating many of these.
where further advancement in health
by developing new treatments.
when we look at one aspect
diseases have in common:
when treatment is started.
once symptoms occur.
many diseases can remain asymptomatic,
for a long period of time.
a persisting need for new ways
the World Health Organization,
identification of unrecognized disease
rapidly and easily ..."
so let me repeat it:
both rapidly and easily.
on the words "rapidly" and "easily"
who have undergone colonoscopy
for colorectal cancer
of medical tools available
such as radiography
that for long has been overlooked:
for medical analysis.
composed of five components:
water and argon.
hundreds of other components
even thousands of them
organic compounds in our breath
have already experienced breath analysis.
late at night,
a friendly police officer
into a device like this one.
the ethanol concentration in your breath
in your condition is a clever idea.
to worry about, all fine.
alcohol levels in your breath,
like the ones I've shown you
the smell of a person's breath
on breath analysis have skyrocketed,
is now becoming reality.
that I showed you earlier.
could be detected by breath analysis.
organic compounds in our breath.
to a breath sample,
organic compounds that we exhale.
a fingerprint of your metabolism,
that occur in your body.
of your exhaled breath.
is to correlate a certain signature
of certain medical conditions.
several undeniable benefits.
in many different settings
a test shall be performed.
into an alcohol breath tester.
would reduce patient burden
for broad adoption of the technology.
of medical conditions.
for multiple diseases at the same time.
a different medical tool
what you're looking for.
breath analysis is predestined
screening tests are lacking.
eventually provide us
low cost per test.
needs to be restricted,
can only be performed
for example, the high-risk population;
per person needs to be kept at a minimum.
on a larger group of people,
of time for each individual?
to something very valuable
that tracks the same patient
are often based on a limited data set,
of a patient's medical history
of a reference population.
open up a new dimension
for personalized treatment.
that is something like,
then why aren't we using it today?"
challenges, for example.
extremely reliable sensors
of volatile organic compounds
in a very defined manner
to be validated in clinical trials,
can be measured against baselines.
can be generated
holds up to its promises,
that could truly aid us
by symptoms of disease
diagnosis and treatment
and it's a fundamental one.
can be commercialized as I describe it,
is, in fact, a problem
with sufficient certainty
would ever cause any symptoms
that you would never suffer from it.
a potentially deadly disease?
that the disease was detected
is to undergo early treatment
without side effects.
has to be treated immediately
of routine screening
that can rationalize treatment,
that should not be a source of concern?
using breath analysis
we'll be able to break this dilemma
organic compounds that we exhale
on our physiological condition.
we have only scratched the surface.
and breath profiles across the population,
age, origin and lifestyle,
should provide us with a powerful tool
and ultimately prevent them.
part-time hypochondriacs like me.
ABOUT THE SPEAKERJulian Burschka - Technologist
Driven by his curiosity, Julian Burschka is combining multiple technical disciplines with strong business acumen to drive innovation and enable new technological advancements.
Why you should listen
Julian Burschka has spent many years developing materials for efficient solar energy conversion. Notably he pioneered an elegant method to fabricate so-called perovskite solar cells -- seminal research that later was published in Nature and cited several thousand times since.
Born a scientist at heart, Burschka is constantly striving to expand his horizon and is thrilled by new technological discoveries that might fundamentally change our daily lives. More recently, his interest was sparked by ultra-sensitive gas sensors and the detection of volatile organic compounds for various applications.
In his current role as a senior project manager at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, Burschka is leading a multinational R&D team that develops smart material solutions to enable next-generation displays. He holds a Master of Business Administration and a PhD in chemistry, both of which he obtained following multilingual studies in Germany, France and Switzerland.
Julian Burschka | Speaker | TED.com