Advanced methods for teaching electronic-nose technologies to diagnosticians and clinical laboratory technicians
Electronic-detection technologies and instruments increasingly are being utilized in the biomedical field to perform a wide variety of clinical operations and laboratory analyses to facilitate the delivery of health care to patients. The introduction of improved electronic instruments for diagnosing diseases and for administering treatments has required new training of laboratory technicians in order that they may perform routine clinical operations, point-of-care testing, and laboratory analyses using these new diagnostic tools. Continuous education and competency of clinical laboratory technicians in the proper use of these new healthcare tools, such as electronic-nose (e-nose) devices, is required to obtain accurate and timely information needed for making patient management decisions and for developing better and more efficient treatments for patients than are possible with conventional methods. E-nose devices are ideal instruments for the rapid detection and diagnosis of disease via detection of specific volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are effective bioindicators of disease found within human breath, fluid and tissue samples sent to clinical laboratories for analysis. The proper training of technicians in the effective use of e-nose instruments for healthcare applications requires thorough understanding of the theoretical workings of e-nose devices and practical knowledge of specialized methodologies. This paper provides a summary of some advanced e-nose methodologies and techniques necessary for training clinical laboratory technicians in the proper use and operation of e-nose devices.