Image source: Nokia

Biomarkers spotted by wearable devices may be able to predict cancer

Your fitness tracker, smartwatch or other wearable might soon be able to warn you of cancer, months before medical professionals get the chance to spot the disease.

This is according to Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri. Speaking on Wednesday at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, Suri outlined his vision of the future which includes 5G ambulances and remote surgeries.

He also spoke of biomarkers spotted by wearable devices that can predict cancer. A biomarker is a molecule secreted by the body. Genetic, epigenetic, proteomic, glycomic, and imaging biomarkers can be used for cancer diagnosis, prognosis, and epidemiology.

“With these sort of products, you can start to prevent stuff before it occurs and we think through biomarkers you can even figure out cancer several months before it occurs,” Suri said.

“Think about how important that is when every month and every day is important to a cancer patient”.

When Nokia bought Withings in May 2016, it was not exactly clear what the Finish tech giant had in mind. The acquisition saw the French company’s devices and software re-branded under the Nokia umbrella. But its evident the company is also putting lots of money into new research.

For example, one device Nokia has under development is a wearable sleeve that tracks glucose, cholesterol and lactic acid. If you were to have this type of data at your disposal, it would fill the void between doctor visits and allow medical professionals to continuously track your well-being. This includes being able to spot cancer at an early stage.

Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets

Its worth noting, you won’t be able to purchase this technology in the immediate future. But a few years from now, its likely it will make its way into a consumer product. Nokia hopes that day is not too far off. For now, the company is continuing to beef up its fitness segment with an aim of having a larger impact with consumers and the medical community.

Source: CNBC

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