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Oligoscan (also called cell check or Zell Check) is the name of a pseudo-medical device of the Luxembourg manufacturer Luxometrix. Important trading partner is the French company Physioquanta. According to Oligoscan information, it is possible to measure the so-called "mineral status" of a customer / patient and his/her exposure to heavy metals. These measurements are completed in a very short time (20 seconds), and no blood test or any other invasive test is required. In Germany, the device is also marketed as a Zell Check.

In reality, the device has been developed for the printing industry. It is a colorimeter of the company X-Rite (model i1Photo pro2). The cooperation between Lucometrix and X-Rite has not been made public by either company. There is no evidence of the suitability of the device for the specified medical purpose. In the German-language advertising for Oligoscan, a note is published, specifically for customers: "Note: The Oligoscan® analysis can / must not be used for medical diagnosis."

CEO of the company Physioquanta is Guillaume Moreau (born 1972). As early as March 2010, Physioquanta was banned in France from promoting its pseudo-medical devices (including Physiodétox, Physioscan (see Physiospect), Physioalcali, Quantarelax, Quantapulse), because the claimed efficacy for medical use is lacking for these devices.

Because there is no evidence that Oligoscan tests represent a recognized procedure, the tests cannot be billed as “lab exams”. The customer / patient must pay the bill him/herself and health insurances do not cover the costs. Customers have to provide their name and other personal information for each Oligoscan measurement, and this information is provided via internet to a remote server. How data protection is guaranteed, remains unclear.

principle of photometry

In general, a photometer is an instrument that measures light intensity or the optical properties of solutions or surfaces. A monochromatic light source radiates through the sample. Part of the light is absorbed by the analyte and a detector allows the determination of the analyte’s concentration in the sample. (Source: Wikipedia) According to the National Physical Laboratory, “Photometry is the measurement of electromagnetic radiation weighted by the human eye's response. This response changes with wavelength” “In photometry, the word 'luminous' is used to indicate that measurements have been made using a detection system (called a photometer) that has a spectral response similar to that of a human eye. The two principal photometric scales maintained at NPL are of luminous intensity and luminous flux. Setting up appropriate geometries permits calibrations of other quantities, such as luminance from luminous intensity standards. NPL has extensive facilities available for the photometric measurement of both sources and detectors, including photometers, luxmeters, luminance meters and colour temperature meters.”

The British National Physical Laboratory provide training courses in photometric techniques and offer their expertise in consultancy services. www.npl.co.uk/principles-of-photometry

Oligoscan buyers and users are only trained in how the device is placed on the hand and in utilizing the provided software. All this takes little time, less than an hour.

principle of spectroscopy

Spectroscopy is the study of the interaction of electromagnetic radiation in all its forms with matter. In Optical Emission Spectroscopy (OES) the sample to be tested for metal and trace elements is vaporized. Atoms and ions contained in the atomic vapor are excited into emission of radiation. The radiation is passed to the spectrometer optics where it is dispersed into its spectral components. From the range of wavelengths emitted by each element (or metal), measurements take place. The radiation intensity, which is proportional to the concentration of the element (or metal) is recalculated, based on calibration curves and is shown as percent concentration.[1] Oligoscan does not fulfill any of the principles that would apply to metal analysis.

The procedure

Oligoscan is a portable optical scanner that makes the practitioner scan a few points of the patient's skin, namely four points of the palm. According to Oligoscan’s safety data sheet, the device contains UV diodes or "Blue-Light small source" diodes which emit light flashes, 200times per second, in the spectral range 380 - 730 nm. The data sheet also talks of tungsten wire light bulbs as a source of light. Similarly, Xrite provides for its colorimeter i1pro the same measurements (200/sec) at the same wavelength (380 to 730nm), another indication of Oligoscan’s origin.

Oligoscan information states that a total of 34 elements or metals are determined “intracellularly” (i.e. within the cell). In advertising videos, Oligoscan videos demonstrate how a light flashes briefly on the underside of the device, and according to Oligoscan, the light reflected from the skin represents the actual metal analysis. Elements analyzed are calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sodium, potassium, copper, zinc, iron, plus manganese, boron, chromium, cobalt, germanium, iodine, lithium, molybdenum, sulfur, selenium and vanadium as well as the "heavy metals" aluminum, antimony, silver, arsenic, barium, beryllium, bismuth (bismuth), cadmium, mercury, nickel, platinum, lead, thallium and thorium. Aluminum and barium are no longer listed as heavy metals, Physioquanta now uses the term "toxic metals" in recent advertising.

The scanner is connected to a PC that sends the so-called measured data "to the central security server of Oligoscan" and "within a few seconds" results come back, consisting of a numerical value for each of the mentioned chemical elements. These ‘test values’ are not given in units. For instance, serious laboratory results are given in units. For a lead measurement in erythrocytes (which represent intracellular lead measurements), a test value of let’s say 50 would have to be given as 50mcg lead/l (microgram per liter) In comparison, Oligoscan would report its intracellular lead value as simply 50. Fifty of what? Mcg, mg, kg, centimeters, or mmol lead per cell, or per weight or per liter or square centimeter? Alone this omission represents a useless measurement. Oligoscan Test Results are compared to a so-called Norm or Standard value. For instance, the Oligoscan result for Calcium is 599.0 and that result is compared to the ‘Norm’ of 298 to 599, and again no unit is provided for either, test result or Norm. In laboratory medicine, this is unheard of and unacceptable. To make the Oligoscan Report visually appealing, colorful bar graphs place the respective test values into categories of Low, Normal or High. Toxic metals are shown as Norm, Increased and Surplus. In all of laboratory medicine, reference values are statistically defined. On an international level, laboratory rules and regulation are very clear on this. There is no reference in the Oligoscan report or in Oligoscan’s information on how ‘Norms’ were defined, what the statistical logic of a ‘Low, High or Surplus’ is and how statistics are evaluated, and what they are based on. Number of cells? Body weight or centimeter of body weight? Can the people who developed the Oligoscan software be so ignorant? How did they come up with ‘Norms’ or ‘Standards’, where did the statistical data come from and why are units omitted? And another question comes to mind: Are test values provided with four decimal points to create the impression of analytical sensitivity? And why is this analytical sensitivity not defined anywhere? Other tables include "interpretations" of test results. For example, the Oligoscan report diagnoses metabolic function ("Metabolism 33%") or the emotional status ("Emotional status 71%") and goes as far as predicting a diabetic predisposition ("Predisposition Diabetes 50%"). Furthermore, the Oligoscan report is "the basis for individual and effective supplementation" (i.e., the intake of nutritional supplements). If the Oligoscan report shows “high” or “surplus” test values, which may be interpreted as “heavy metal contamination", the user is recommended to prescribe chelation therapy. It should be noted that in chelation therapy, the process of metal detoxification may involve the intravenous use of synthetic chemicals, called chelation agents. Chelation protocols state that a thorough laboratory evaluation, including that of renal function, must take place before chelation is started. Can a chelation therapist base his evaluation on Oligoscan results? Even Oligoscan states that this should not be the case.