IBM researchers have developed a first "fingernail sensor" prototype that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to monitor and analyze human health as well as the progression of the disease.
The portable wireless device continuously measures how it's done A person's fingernail bends and moves, which is a key indicator of grip strength.
Although skin-based sensors help to capture things like movement, the health of muscles and nerve cells, and also reflect the intensity of a person's emotional state, they can often lead to problems, including the infection of older patients.
However, the new system uses signals from fingernail bends, such as tactile sensing of pressure, temperature, and surface textures.
"Our fingernails deform and bend in a stereotyped way when we use them to grasp, grasp and even bend and stretch the fingers, usually with a single-digit deformation that is invisible to the naked eye." said Katsuyuki Sakuma of the IBM Thomas Watson Research Center in New York.
The new device reported in Scientific Reports magazine consists of strain gauges attached to the fingernail and a small computer that extracts samples of strain, gathers accelerometer data, and communicates with a smartwatch.
The watch also performs machine learning models to evaluate bradykinesia, tremor, and dyskinesia, all of which are symptoms of Parkinson's disease.
"Fingers, we have found a new use for our nails by recognizing and characterizing their subtle movements," said Sakuma.
"With the sensor, we can derive insights into the state of health and enable a new kind of user interface, which also inspired a new device based on the structure of the fingertip, which one day helps the quadriplegics to communicate could, "remarked Sakuma.