Using artificial intelligence to analyze the breath

Predicting whether patients will respond to a drug – in real time and without an invasive procedure: The Deep Breath Intelligence digital platform makes this possible.

Evelyn Reusser

Christian Zwicky, as CEO you make a lot of decisions. Which ones are especially difficult?

Christian Zwicky Rejecting opportunities. Last year, we received as many as 20 inquiries per week regarding testing for COVID-19. This shows how much potential our solution offers. But as a startup, it’s very important for a decision to correspond to our own strategy in order avoid losing focus.


What exactly does Deep Breath Intelligence do?

Zwicky We’ve developed a digital platform based on artificial intelligence for molecular breath analysis. The aim is to use this non-invasive procedure in the future to diagnose illnesses early on, or to be able to forecast the efficacy of medications for each individual patient.

Is this similar to a breath test used for determining a person’s alcohol level?

Zwicky In very simple terms, yes. But we look for molecules, called biomarkers, that appear in a person’s exhaled breath in much smaller concentrations than is the case with alcohol tests – we measure in a ratio of one to a billion. This is about the same ratio as a single drop of water to the water in 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools.


What are the biggest challenges for the startup?

Zwicky Molecular breath analysis isn’t used often in medicine at the moment, despite the numerous advantages for patients and physicians. The current focus is on blood and tissue samples, i.e. invasive methods that involve a considerable amount of time and high costs.


How do you convince customers?

Zwicky With studies and scientific publications that show that our technology works. For example, we demonstrated in the areas of epilepsy and sleep apnea that we can analyze medication concentrations and specific biomarkers in real time in patients’ exhaled breath.


Why these areas?

Zwicky Because our validated studies are most advanced in these areas, and we want to implement them in routine clinical practice as quickly as possible. As a startup, we are very pragmatic and focused, and we know that our solution will eventually enable a much wider area of application, such as diagnosing lung diseases or early cancer detection.


How do you stay focused?

Zwicky By concentrating on our priorities and repeating the following like a mantra: “This is our strategy. This is what we want to do. We will continue doing so.” Because we’d need additional resources for everything else

About the company

Number of employees: 6
Founded in: 2018
Headquarters: Rotkreuz
Area of activity: Molecular breath analysis in the medtech sector
Noteworthy: The advanced artificial intelligence of the digital platform has significant potential for a broad range of applications in research as well as for personalized medicine.