A team of scientists at the National Taiwan University are creating tooth-implanted sensors that can transmit information via a Bluetooth tooth.
The artificial tooth will send rather than receive transmissions
According to the developers, the aim of the technology is for the sensors to transmit information to doctors so that they can evaluate their patients oral behavior to make sure they are pursuing healthy habits.
Gizmag reports: Our mouth is our most multi-purpose orifice. We breathe with it, we taste with it, we use it for eating, for talking, for expressing emotions, for making love and even foolishly trying to open the occasional beer bottle. But scientists think it’s also an untapped resource for monitoring people’s health. With this in mind, National Taiwan University researchers reasoned that if they could hook up the mouth with some sensors, it could help to better understand people’s habits and identify potential health problems, such as if a person is smoking or drinking too much.
The tooth sensor is a first step in this direction. Designed to fit into an artificial tooth, it includes a tri-axial accelerometer that monitors mouth movements to figure out when the patient is chewing, drinking, speaking, or coughing, with the readings transmitted to a smartphone via Bluetooth.
Currently, the scientists are still at the proof of concept stage, so their first design dispensed with the James Bond-style artificial tooth embedded with a radio transmitter in favor of a small breakout board that’s been coated with dental resin. This makes it saliva-proof and able to be anchored to the subject’s dental work with dental cement while the transmitter’s job is done by a wire running out of the mouth. This may seem a bit low tech, but it does prevent the subject from swallowing the device if it comes loose.