Published within a study conducted by researchers at the National Taiwan University, the team created a sensor designed to be embedded in your mouth in order to track and hopefully curtail bad habits like smoking or overeating. With an accuracy of nearly 94 percent in the current prototype, the sensor can differentiate between eating, speaking, coughing, smoking, drinking and breathing. All of this data is collected and can be sent to your medical professional in order to provide a more accurate history of your daily habits, both negative and positive.
While the current prototype currently uses an external wire for power, the team is looking into creating a version that uses an internal battery. At this point, the tiny circuit can be fitted between two teeth or mounted on oral hardware like dentures or braces.
However, the mount would have to be extremely secure in order to avoid the possibility of it becoming loose and potentially swallowed. In addition, the team has to make the device completely waterproof in order to avoid damage to the electronics.
In addition to pursing battery power, the team is also looking into the possibility of adding Bluetooth to the device. This could allow a doctor to download recent data to a smartphone or tablet when you arrive at the office rather than uploading the data to a server over Wi-Fi. However, the researchers want to test the safety of that type of technology being used within the mouth.
Beyond keeping tack of eating and smoking habits, the team believes that dentists could find this technology useful as well. In an interview with the New Scientist, Faculty of General Dental Practice vice-chair Trevor Johnson said “This could have a number of uses in dentistry, for example as a research tool, for monitoring patients who clench or grind their teeth, and for assessing the impact of various dental interventions.”
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