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Sensory Overload?

Oct 01, 2013

We all know you can microchip pets in order to track them if they become lost.  A team from National Taiwan University recently created a new microchip for humans.  No, it’s not to keep track of your teenagers on date night.  It’s for your teeth!

Sensory Overload?
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The sensor microchip collects data to track how our mouths are used and how it affects our overall health.  The sensor is very small and can fit over a permanent tooth or be embedded into an artificial tooth.  Our mouths are always in use whether for eating, drinking, breathing, coughing, sneezing and talking.  The team created the device in order to measure the motion of the teeth during these daily activities as well as measuring the movement of the jaw.

A set of tiny wires within the sensor carry the data to a computer. Eight volunteers were asked to wear the sensor and perform different activities.  The computer then built their personal dental profile based on the activities and response of the jaw and teeth of the volunteer.  A total of 480 activity samples were gathered from the 8 volunteers.

The accuracy of the dental sensor was 93.8% with a “person-dependent classifier,” or a person whose data had been collected and a profile made; however, using a “person-independent classifier," the accuracy was only 59.8%.  The team noted that “some people chew or talk faster, slower, harder or softer” and the team will be “extending the training set to include different sensor placements and oral activity types."

The research team believes that the data collected will be helpful for dentists, doctors and other scientists.  Because of the small nature of the sensor and the fact that it is placed inside the mouth, there are certain safety guidelines that must be met.  The sensor must be able to pass through the body without harm if it is swallowed.  "Its safety requirements are similar to those of capsule endoscopy, in which patients swallow a camera pill," the researchers report. 

Eventually the microchip developers hope to use Bluetooth technology to transfer the data.  With such advancements in sensor microchip technology, you might be able to track your eating, your dog’s whereabouts and your teens every move all on one device!

Source: Medical News Today

Copyright 2013, Bloom Insurance Agency, LLC

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