Tiny wearable sensors may soon track our health in real time

ANU Sensors
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8 June 2018 | 0

Australian scientists have designed tiny optical sensors that they say open the door to developing a wearable device that enables doctors to medically diagnose a person’s health in real time.

Associate professor Antonio Tricoli from the Australian National University (ANU) said the sensors, which are 50 times thinner than a human hair, promised to one day help doctors detect diseases like diabetes earlier than is possible today while better managing other chronic illnesses.

“These ultra-small sensors could be integrated into a watch to literally provide a window on our health,” said Dr Tricoli, leader of the Nanotechnology Research Laboratory at the ANU Research School of Engineering.

“This exciting invention shows that we are on the cusp of designed the next generation of wearable devices that will help people to say well for longer and lead better lives.”

Tricoli said the sensors could measure very small concentrations of gases coming through a person’s skin and breath called metabolites. This would enable doctors to keep track of an individual’s health in real time.

“You could simply use a pulse of light to track these biomarkers of disease – there’d be no need for batteries, wires or large and expensive lab equipment. A wearable medical diagnostic device using optical sensors may one day eliminate the need for blood test and many other invasive procedures.”

IDG News Service

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