Dr Jonathan Beauchamp - Standardising Breath Research: Needs and Challenges
The notion of medical breath testing has experienced a noticeable increase in awareness amongst the general public in recent years, especially due to media coverage of start-ups that promise to revolutionise at-home health status monitoring with a simple blow of breath into a smartphone. Whilst this attractive proposition has a realistic potential of success for some health conditions, the reality, of course, is that only a handful of breath tests have been approved for clinical use, and their implementation has been as a result of rigorous, methodical and exhaustive studies to characterise any influencing parameters, the effects of sampling, and establishing quality assurance practices. Indeed the primary reason for this low number of useable tests is an absence of consistency in study outcomes between different laboratories using different procedures and equipment. To address this mismatch, it is essential to impose procedural standards and quality assurance in breath research, which requires a concerted and transparent effort from all researchers passionate about elevating breath tests to routine clinical diagnostic aids or at-home medication or health monitoring. This lecture will discuss the diversity of the field of breath research, summarise the challenges faced in implementing standardised practices, and conclude with the needs required for clinical success.
Dr Jonathan Beauchamp
Deputy Head of Department Sensory Analytics, Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV
Jonathan holds a physics degree from University College London, UK and a PhD in environmental physics from the University of Innsbruck, Austria. He currently works as a research associate at the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV in Freising, Germany, where his research activities focus on characterising the emissions of volatile organic compounds, VOCs, from diverse products as well as the human body. Jonathan has been involved in breath research for the past 15 years and is currently principal investigator in two breath-related projects, one on colorectal cancer and another on establishing standardised practices in breath analysis. He is an active member of the International Association of Breath Research, IABR, for which he co-chairs the focus group on standardisation, and is also Associate Editor of Journal of Breath Research.