Scientists have developed a ‘death test’ that can tell people how long they have to live.
The non-invasive procedure involves applying a painless laser pulse to the surface of the skin through a wristwatch-style device.
This measures how a person’s body will decline with age by analysing endothelial cells, the Sunday Times reports.
These cells line the smallest blood vessels – capillaries – in our bodies and respond to complex activity elsewhere in the body.
By measuring the oscillations within the cells, the scientists say they can calculate the length of time before death and also test for diseases including cancer and dementia.
The result is graded from 0 for death to 100 for optimum functioning with the predictions becoming more accurate as more data is added.
A user-friendly version of the system is expected to be completed within the next three years.
The test was developed by two physics professors from Lancaster University, Aneta Stefanovska and Peter McClintock, with the help of grants from medical charities and government research bodies.
Professor Stefanovska is credited with inventing the method of analysing endothelial reactivity.
‘I am hoping we will build a database that will become larger and larger, so every person person measured can be compared against it,’ she said.
‘We will then be in a position to tell them the values [that] predict a certain number of years.’