The next time you get your nails done, it might be at the request of your doctor.
IBM has created a tiny sensor that attaches to your fingernail and monitors things like pressure, motion, and grip strength as you go about your day. The hope is that the steady stream of information will help doctors monitor the progression of diseases by keeping close tabs on how fingernails bend and move, which is apparently a key indicator of grip strength. Grip strength itself is an important diagnostic tool, as it can indicate whether medication is working, give a hint into cardiovascular health, and even the degree of cognitive function in schizophrenics.
The information gathered by the diminutive sensor is then sent to a computer, where machine learning analyzes the data–measuring tremors, grip, and other metrics. An AI-fueled algorithm looks for patterns, which could give clinicians a clearer picture of disease progression and give ideas for personalized treatment recommendations.
The project started as doctors looked for a way to monitor the medication levels of people with Parkinson’s disease, but the technological breakthrough could help make many lives healthier (but no one tell Amazon about the new technology).