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Teeth-embedded sensors offer dentists data on patients' cleaning habits

Sport & Fitness

Researchers in Taiwan have developed a prototype for teeth-embedded sensors that could recognize oral activity such as eating, drinking, smoking and teeth cleaning.

Consumers worried about their dental health have already been able to take matters into their own hands with the Beam Toothbrush, which quantifies their teeth cleaning regime. But now researchers in Taiwan have developed a prototype for teeth-embedded sensors that could recognize oral activity such as eating, drinking, smoking and teeth cleaning and deliver the data to dentists.

Created by the team at the UbiComp Laboratory – part of the National Taiwan University – the system involves a small chip with an accelerometer and Bluetooth connection that is embedded inside an artificial tooth. The sensor uses motion to detect which activity is being performed – at the moment it can sense chewing, drinking, speaking and coughing, but could be developed to determine how often patients clean their teeth or what types of foods they’ve been eating. A prototype has had a 94 percent accuracy rate in correctly determining activity, according to the researchers.

The system could enable dentists – as well as other medical professionals – to get a better picture of their patient’s habits in order to better prescribe ways they could look after their health. Although still in the early stages of development, are there other ways technology can be integrated with the body to provide more data for doctors?

Email: hchu@csie.ntu.edu.tw

Website: www.mll.csie.ntu.edu.tw

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