IBM Designs AIEnabled Fingernail Sensor to Track Diseases

first_img Wearable devices might be the future of healthcare: IBM just designed a tiny fingernail sensor that uses AI to track disease progression.On Thursday, IBM Research announced in a press release that its team created the fingernail sensor prototype, which is a wearable device that continuously measures how a person’s fingernail moves.The team, which published their research in the Scientific Reports journal on Dec. 21, highlights how this small sensor could be a good indicator of grip strength, a useful metric that shares details on medication effectiveness for Parkinson’s disease and people’s cardiovascular health.According to IBM research, the integumentary system, which is our hair, nails, and skin, is critical for our bodily functions. Its purpose is to protect internal organs from pathogens, toxins, and ultraviolet (UV) radiation.To measure disease progression, doctors typically attach skin-based sensors to capture body motion, the health of muscles and nerve cells, and altered sweat gland activity. However, using these skin-based sensors for elderly patients could be problematic, because they tend to cause infections.Unlike standard skin-based sensors, the fingernail sensor can sense health changes from how people’s fingernails bend throughout the day, since we use our hands frequently for various tasks. Plus, the fingernail sensor would leverage AI to analyze insights from daily readings.Photo Credit: IBM ResearchTo put the fingernail sensor to the test, the team glued it to a subject’s fingernail. The team determined that they could obtain a strong signal from the nail to give good grip force predictions.The fingernail sensor system features strain gauges attached to the fingernail and a tiny computer that collects accelerometer data, samples strain values, and communicates with a smart watch. This smart watch also uses machine learning to rate symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.“By pushing computation to the end of our fingers we’ve found a new use for our nails by detecting and characterizing their subtle movements. With the sensor, we can derive health state insights and enable a new type of user interface,” IBM Research said in the press release.”This work has also served as the inspiration for a new device modeled on the structure of the fingertip that could one day help quadriplegics communicate.”More on Geek.com: SteelSeries Arctis 1 Is World’s First USB-C Wireless Gaming HeadsetGeek Pick: Shure MV88+ Is An Excellent, On the Go Microphone Kit Bees With Mini Sensor Backpacks Could Help Farmers Monitor Crop HealthTrying to Get Pregnant? Stop Smoking PotDoctors to Start Prescribing ‘Museum Art’ for Better Healthcenter_img Stay on targetlast_img read more