A new artificial intelligence developed by scientists could soon diagnose whether someone has bowel cancer or not depending on the sounds of their farts.
The technology is designed to identify any changes in the sounds people produce when they defecate, urinate or break wind.
Diseases such as bowel and colorectal cancers can cause these bathroom noises to change due to the damage they have on your gastrointestinal system.
Research at Georgia Tech University is in its early stages, but if successful has the potential to prevent thousands of deaths.
David Ancalle, the lead researcher at the university who has helped make the device said: ’We’re trying to find a non-invasive way where people can get a notification on whether or not they should go get checked out.
“Like ‘Hey, your urine is not flowing at the rate that it should. Your farts are not sounding the way they should. You should check it out.’”
To create the device - named the Synthetic Human Acoustic Reproduction Testing (SHART – they definitely knew what they were up to with that name) - researchers had to listen to hours and hours of audio from both healthy and unwell patients.
Their AI technology was then able to learn how to identify whether someone was healthy or not from the piles (sorry) of collected sound data.
Although the device hasn’t been tested on humans yet, the prototype has correctly identified the source of the sounds – urination, flatulence, solid defecation, and diarrhoea – 98% of the time.
Engineer Maia Gatlin added: “A lot of thought went into each of the sounds. There was a subsystem for each sound on this little machine.
“And as we classify those events, we can start to collect that data. It can say, ‘Hey we’re seeing an outbreak of lots of diarrhoea.’ Then we can start to quickly diagnose what’s going on in an area.”