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2 Feb, 2021 14:54

Drops of dystopia: Scientists develop wearable sensor that monitors your health via your TEARS

Drops of dystopia: Scientists develop wearable sensor that monitors your health via your TEARS

Researchers at Penn State University have developed a wearable sensor that can provide real-time medical data on eye or mouth diseases by monitoring a person’s saliva or their tears.

Huanyu ‘Larry’ Cheng, a professor at the Penn State University, claims the device, which employs micro- and nano-scale technology, could potentially revolutionize the monitoring and treatment of certain health conditions. 

Tiny, wearable sensors placed near the tear ducts or mouth can monitor a patient’s condition on a “rapid, continuous basis,” precluding the need to wait for laboratory results, with the data viewable on a smartphone or medical monitor in real time. 

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According to Cheng, the device can monitor the progression of everything from ulcers to oral cancers as well as eye infections like keratitis through continuous analysis of “small and large substances of biofluids.”

The device purportedly not only collects data on the patients but also medicates them as necessary via a microneedle deployed through the skin at the eye or in the mouth. 

“Through nano- to micro-steel ports on the device, we can probe the cell to deliver molecular drugs for treatment in a very efficient process at the cellular level,” Cheng said.

He also claims the device can afford access to gene and coding information on the cell, possibly paving the way for far more targeted types of medicine than currently possible.

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In case the dystopian sounding technology hasn’t already gotten your alarm bells ringing, the researchers are in talks with tech giant Amazon and the US National Institutes of Health to discuss large scale manufacturing and rollout of what the scientist claims is “a mature technology.”

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