Technology and Tests That Can Actually Estimate When You’re Going to Die

For decades, human lifespans have increased with advancements in medicine and technology. We also have a wealth of information at our fingertips our grandparents never dreamed of. All it takes is a quick Google search to find out virtually anything. So why not try and answer something everyone has pondered: Just when you’re going to die.

While there’s no real way of knowing when a relatively healthy person will die, there’s something shiver-inducing about seeing your supposed time remaining in hard numbers. Here we’ll look at 15 tools and other methods to predict when you’ll die. See which of the human senses can be tested to predict death within five years (page 2). And just what does mustard on your hot dog have to do with death (page 15)?

1. Death Clock

desktop computer on wooden desk

This online form will answer your biggest life question. | iStock.com/KatarzynaBialasiewicz

This is one of the simpler death predictors. Just fill out an online form to be told the date you’ll die. Sounds pretty easy, but how accurate could this be? Yet it’s hard not to try it. Enter your height, weight, gender, age, personality, and body mass index (which can be figured out right there as well).

The Death Clock site calls itself “the Internet’s friendly reminder that life is slipping away… second by second. Like the hourglass of the Net, the Death Clock will remind you just how short life is.”

Next: How one of your senses can help predict death

2. Smell test

woman pinches nose looks with disgust stinks bad smell

Your sense of smell — or lack thereof — says a lot about your health. | SIphotography/Getty Images

Your sense of smell might be an indicator of whether you’ll still be alive in five years, research suggests. In a University of Chicago study, 3,000 people between their late-50s and mid-80s performed a smell test. They were asked to recognize scents like peppermint, orange, rose, leather, and fish.

  • Researchers followed up five years later to see who was still alive. The results:
  • Nearly 40% of those who had failed the smell test had died.
  • 19% of those with moderate loss of smell had died.
  • Just 10% of those who had a healthy sense of smell died.

Researchers concluded the loss of smell doesn’t cause death, per se, but that it could be a warning that something has already gone wrong.

Next: A reminder worn on your wrist

3. Tikker Watch

businessman looking at his watch

Usually, countdowns are exciting. This one is terrifying. | iStock.com/minnebaevpro

Some may love this idea, whereas others may absolutely hate it. Wearers of this digital watch see a countdown of their time left on earth. Far from scientific, it estimates your left expectancy simply using governmental statistical information minus your current age. The countdown displayed shows years, months, days, hours, minutes, and seconds.

The makers of the watch say it is a “constant reminder to live your life in the most positive way possible by seeing how fast time goes by.”

Next: As if we needed any extra reminders

4. WeCroak app

The Snapchat app logo is displayed on an iPhone

Here’s your constant reminder that you’re inching closer to death every day. | Carl Court/Getty Images

Would your life be better if you were reminded five times daily that you’re going to die? The creator of WeCroak seems to think so. It was inspired by a Bhutanese folk saying that to be happy, a person must contemplate death multiple times per day. Each notification includes a quote about death from a poet or philosopher.

The notifications come at random times between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. — thankfully, not in the heart of night. This app doesn’t come free — it’s $.99 on Google Play and iTunes.

Next: A death test hospitals use

5. Death-predicting Supercomputer

Computers, Laptops

This program uses health data to predict your likelihood of imminent demise. | Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Once patients are hooked up to this machine, it processes all their data like doctor visits, lab results, medications, and vital signs, and comes up with a diagnostic assessment. The supercomputer, developed at a Boston medical center, compares a person’s scenarios with previous results from 250,000 people in the last 30 years.

It determines likelihood of present and future medical problems like heart attack, infection, cancer, and ultimately, death — all with 96% confidence. Project lead Dr. Steve Horng said “… if the computer says you are going to die, you probably will die within the next 30 days.”

Next: A more in-depth analysis

6. “How You Will Die” simulation

morgue

Are you destined to die from the world’s most common causes of illness? | Darrin Klimek/Getty Images

This tool from FlowingData is a little unique in that it shows the most likely causes of death as time goes on for people of your age and race. You can watch each cause of death’s percentages change as the years progress. Circulatory problems and cancer are up there among probable causes, but 13 others are listed as well.

Next: A traditional offline test

7. Sitting-rising test

Girl sitting on floor with sweatpants and leopard socks

This test isn’t so hard, if you typically do a lot of sitting. | ISO3000/iStock/Getty Images

Developed by Brazilian physician Claudio Gil Araujo, this test illustrates that to live longer, you must move around and maintain muscle and balance. An observer assesses the participant’s ability to sit down on the floor and stand back up without use of the arms or hands. Try it for yourself.

The researchers tested 2,000 patients ages 51 to 80. They found that those who scored fewer than eight points were twice as likely to die within the next six years than those who got more than eight points; those with three or fewer points were more than five times as likely to die.

Next: A simple blood test used to predict death

8. “Death Test:” A simple blood test

Blood test tubes.

Let your blood do the predicting. | Bet_Noire/iStock/Getty Images

Could there really be a scientific way to determine whether a seemingly healthy person will die within five years? That’s exactly what a simple blood test sets out to do by looking for three “biomarkers.” An increased level of these indicates inflammation in the body.

This makes sense, Dr. Marla Shapiro told CTV News Channel, because “inflammation is very much part of the pathway in many diseases.” Inflammation is common for heart disease and stroke patients.

Next: This death app may serve as a motivator.

9. Deadline app

Man with gloves using cellphone outdoors

If you need a new excuse to start acting healthier, this might work. | KristinaJovanovic/iStock/Getty Images

There are many smartphone apps that claim to predict your date of death. Some seem more scientific than others. One such app, called Deadline, uses statistical information to estimate your age when you’ll die. It can factor in many data points, including blood pressure, sleep, and steps.

“Deadline motivates you to be healthier … in a darker sort of way,” wrote Business Insider.

Next: A calculator developed at a university

10. “How long will I live?” tool

tax form with calculator

Add your info, and let the data do the math. | Alfexe/iStock/Getty Images

This is another simple online calculator. You enter some basic information, and it spits out the age it predicts you’ll die. It also provides a handy link to apply for a “Personal Pension” since “you’ll need hundreds of thousands more to retire.”

The calculator was developed by professors at the University of Pennsylvania. It is based on 400,000 data samples.

Next: A more thorough questionnaire

11. FatefulDay.eu

calendar

Filling this out might give you an answer you’re not prepared for. | Kwangmoozaa/iStock/Getty Images

This website asks quite a thorough set of questions, which makes it feel more accurate than some of the others. Be prepared to tell it how much you sleep, how often you visit the doctor, how often you smoke and drink, whether you need eyeglasses, whether inherited diseases run in your family, and more.

At the end, you’re given what year your “fateful day” will come. In addition, it provides a countdown from how many years to seconds you have left.

Next: A death statistic easier to predict

12. Ubble test

Birthday cake with colorful candles at a birthday party

You might be “older” than your actual age. | RuthBlack/Getty Images

Those between ages 40 and 70 can take the British Ubble test to determine their risk of dying within the next five years. It matches your age to a risk profile of an average person from the UK of the same gender. After you answer 11-13 questions, the site gives you your Ubble age — which may be higher or lower than your actual age. It also provides your five-year risk of dying as a percentage.

This quick test may be worth your time, as some say five-year mortality is far easier to predict than long-term morbidity.

Next: A tombstone designed just for you

13. Death Timer

stopwatch

You’ll get a personalized tombstone based on your results. | iStock.com/hxdbzxy

Some may find morbid entertainment in the Death Timer website which asks for the basics and whether you smoke and drink. After you complete the quick survey, a tombstone shows up designed just for you, including your predicted year of death. Be sure to read the reason of death the program picked out just for you.

Next: A calculator that has stood the test of time

14. Death Date

Gravestone

What percentage of your life have you already lived? | iStock.com/Yogibehr

This online calculator has been telling people when their time is up since 2006. Visitors are greeted by a skull and crossbones and asked to fill out six simple fields. Somehow, that’s all it takes to determine the important date — as well as the number of years, months, days, and seconds remaining. And it even calculates what percentage of your life is over.

If you’re even hungry for more, the page also gives you three symbols that have a connection with your cause of death. Examples are “freeze,” “fall,” and “electricity.” This may be the most complete death predictor yet.

Next: Could your favorite season really affect your death date?

15. Playbuzz test

Italian cantucci cookies

Could your favorite cookie determine your death date? | iStock.com/ninette_luz

The Playbuzz test “At What Age Will You Die?” asks some questions you probably never associated with mortality. After some seemingly on-point questions about partying and smoking, it asks you about mustard on hot dogs, cookie preferences, and your favorite season of the year. In one test result, it predicted a death age of 91 with “a full and happy life.” We definitely believe that’s accurate.

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