A new study published in the journal PLOS ONE suggests that a person's breath can be as unique as a fingerprint and can be used to identify any potential health problems in a way similar to blood or urine tests.
According to researchers at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and the University Hospital Zurich, a person's breath contains compounds, known as metabolites, which are waste products of the body's chemistry.
The researchers said that these compounds can be analyzed for any medical conditions and as the tests are non-invasive with results being instantaneous, such tests could be more convenient during anesthesia or doping tests.
"We did find some small variations during the day, but overall the individual pattern stays sufficiently constant to be useful for medical purposes. If we find a consistent pattern in patients with a given lung disease, we can develop a diagnostic tool", Pablo Martinez-Lozano Sinues, who was part of the study, said.