Indulgence is a tough habit to kick, even under the doctor's orders. Patients may resolve to to stop smoking, eat less and cut down on the booze while still in the presence of their physician, but those promises eventually wear off. However, a new tooth-embedded sensor could put an end to all those little white lies.
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Hao-hua Chu and colleagues at National Taiwan University have invented a tiny circuit board that fits inside a tooth cavity, and it's capable of recognizing telltale jaw motions of chewing, drinking, speaking, coughing or smoking. The sensor can also be embedded into dentures or a dental brace, and it includes an accelerometer that can relay data to a patient or doctor's smartphone.
A prototype was tested on eight people and showed impressive results: the sensor correctly identified oral activities 94 percent of the time. Although the prototype is still tethered to an external wire, researchers are hopeful they can eventually incorporate a small, internal battery.