A Breath Analysis System for Diabetes Screening and Blood Glucose Level Prediction

  • David ZhangEmail author
  • Dongmin Guo
  • Ke Yan


It has been reported that concentrations of several biomarkers in diabetics’ breath show significant difference from those in healthy people’s breath. Concentrations of some biomarkers are also correlated with the blood glucose levels (BGLs) of diabetics. Therefore, it is possible to screen for diabetes and predict BGLs by analyzing one’s breath. In this chapter, we describe the design of a novel optimized breath analysis system for this purpose. The system uses carefully selected chemical sensors to detect biomarkers in breath. Common interferential factors, including humidity and the ratio of alveolar air in breath, are compensated or handled in the algorithm. Considering the inter-subject variance of the components in breath, we design a feature augmentation strategy to learn subject-specific prediction models to improve the accuracy of BGL prediction. 295 breath samples from healthy subjects and 279 samples from diabetic subjects were collected to evaluate the performance of the system. The sensitivity and specificity of diabetes screening are 91.51% and 90.77%, respectively. The mean relative absolute error for BGL prediction is 20.6%. Experiments show that the system is effective and that the strategies adopted in the system can improve its accuracy. The system potentially provides a noninvasive and convenient method for diabetes screening and BGL monitoring as an adjunct to the standard criteria.


Alveolar air Blood glucose level Diabetes screening Humidity compensation Inter-subject variance 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biometrics Research CentreThe Hong Kong Polytechnic UniversityHong KongChina
  2. 2.Wake Forest UniversityWinston-SalemUSA
  3. 3.National Institute of HealthBethesdaUSA

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