OMD portable breath analysis device

portable breath analysis device

Oxford Medical Diagnostics (OMD), a leading developer of advanced proprietary methods of analysing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in breath, is working with Renfrew Group International (RGi) on the engineering and industrial design of a portable breath analysis device.

The collaboration combines OMD’s scientific research expertise with RGi’s design capabilities to further develop an accurate, low-cost, portable and non-invasive breath analysis platform to identify and monitor certain metabolic and infectious diseases by detecting and measuring VOCs in breath.

OMD’s platform is based on the Company’s main proprietary technology, Cavity Enhanced Absorption Spectroscopy (CEAS), which was developed at the University of Oxford.

The current lab based prototype device is capable of measuring acetone in breath samples at sub-parts-per-million levels, which is in excess of the sensitivity required to detect acetone levels of patients with Type 1 diabetes.

This portable breath analysis device is designed for use in Type 1 diabetes, as an aid to diabetes management and to help prevent the onset of Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA). In recent months the prototype system was successfully used in its first clinical evaluation, successfully measuring breath acetone from over 100 samples.

OMD has been awarded SBRI funding and two TSB grants to support the development of multiple units for use in a clinical investigation which will be carried out in collaboration with an expert team at the Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism under the direction of Prof.  Katharine Owen.

The early model (pictured) could also be used to assist with dieting and weight management by providing a measurement of the underlying metabolic and physiological changes associated with weight loss. A smaller consumer orientated device is being developed for this market.

Oxford Medical Diagnostics


Oxford Medical Diagnostics Limited was formed during the summer of 2010 as a merger of three entities: EV (Medical Screening); Oxford Medical Diagnostics; and the technology and expertise in laser and Broadband Cavity Enhanced Absorption Spectroscopy (BBCEAS) available in the University of Oxford.

The Company is based at Begbroke Science Park and was formed with the primary focus of developing a breath analyser to help with the treatment of diabetes. Diabetes is a serious chronic illness that affects how the body uses food, and is a life threatening disease if not treated.

Recent UK data estimate that 5m Britons are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. About 18.2 million Americans, 6.5% of the population, have diabetes and the number of diabetes cases in the United States is increasing at about 5 percent each year. Importantly, therefore, clinicians have welcomed the concept of a definitive, quantitative, non-invasive and cost effective breath diagnostics technology.