Tooth sensor snitches on you for smoking, overeating!

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Now, a high tech way to prevent unhealthy habits! Researchers at National Taiwan University have created a new wearable oral sensory system designed to detect your oral activities.

Hao-hua Chu and his team at National Taiwan University in Taipei have developed a smart tooth sensor that can snitch to doctors if a person has started lighting up or has been over gluttonous.

The sensor has the potential to warn doctors when individuals defy medical advice to give up smoking or eat less. The technology consists of a sensor with a tiny accelerometer embedded in a tooth cavity that detects motion in three dimensions. The circuit fitted into dentures or a dental brace measures mastication motion and other oral movements.

Prototype tested in a lab setting
Experts theorize that different oral activities, such as speaking, chewing, drinking etc produce unique motions that can be recorded and differentiated.

They tested the prototype on eight people in a lab setting. They implanted the sensor in their dentures while the participants performed four common activities, such as chewing drinking, speaking and coughing. The system recognized oral activities with 94 per cent accuracy.

More work needed
Since the lab prototype was powered by an external wire, researchers need to improve the device before it can be placed in the mouth. They have to develop a micro battery small enough to fit inside the mouth, a way to recharge the battery and also a way to wirelessly transmit its data to a nearby computer. Once this is achieved, the scientists plan on using Bluetooth in the next version.

Trevor Johnson, vice-chair of research at the Faculty of General Dental Practice in the UK stated, “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.”

The technology will be presented at the International Symposium on Wearable Computers in Zurich, Switzerland, in September.

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