Researchers at IBM Corp. have developed a fingernail sensor prototype that utilizes Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to supervise and examine human health with disease progression. The wearable, wireless device incessantly measures how a person’s fingernail bends and moves.
Though skin-based sensor can assist capture things like motion, the health of muscles and nerve cells, and can also imitate the intensity of a person’s emotional state; these can usually make problems, including infection with older patients. But the IBM’s latest system uses signals from the fingernail bends that comprises the tactile sensing of pressure, temperature, surface textures. IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center in New York, Katsuyuki Sakuma stated that his company’s fingernails deform, bend and move in stereotypic ways when a person uses them for gripping, grasping, and even flexing and extending their fingers. This deformation is usually on the order of single digit microns and not visible to the naked eye. Noted in the journal Scientific Reports, the new device consists of a strain measure appended to the fingernail and a small computer that examines strain values, amass accelerometer data and communicates with a smartwatch. The watch also runs Machine Learning models to assess bradykinesia, tremor, and dyskinesia that are all symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
Sakuma further said that by shoving computation to the end of persons’ fingers, they have found a new use for their nails by spotting and characterizing their delicate movements. With the sensor, Sakuma said, the company can derive health state insights and allow a new kind of user interface. This work has also served as the notion for a new device modeled on the structure of the fingertip that could one day help quadriplegics converse.