Researchers say they are able to identify habits and lifestyles by analysing chemicals, molecules and germs on people’s smartphones. These aspects include diet, medication, hygiene, beauty products, and general health.
For their study, a team of scientists took swabs from 4 areas on the smartphones belonging to 39 healthy adults.
Amina Bouslimani, first author of the study, says: “By analyzing the molecules they’ve left behind on their phones, we could tell if a person is likely female, uses high-end cosmetics, dyes her hair, drinks coffee, prefers beer over wine, likes spicy food, is being treated for depression, wears sunscreen and bug spray – and therefore likely spends a lot of time outdoors – all kinds of things.”
Study senior author Pieter Dorrestein, a professor at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, believes that this approach could be useful in a number of areas, including medical clinical trials, criminal profiling, airport screening, etc.
More information here.