IBM introduces AI-powered fingernail sensor to monitor health

fingernail sensors
IBM Website

A team of researchers at IBM has successfully developed a fingernail sensor powered with artificial intelligence (AI) which will help to monitor human health and analyze the progression of diseases in the body. In order to formulate the date which indicates a person's health, this wearable wireless device analyses the movements and bends of a fingernail which is a key indicator of grip strength.

The research report published in the journal Scientific Reports revealed that the initial phase of this project as an attempt to capture the medication state of people with Parkinson's disease. During the study, researchers found that various factors like the intensity of a person's emotional state will affect the findings of the result obtained using skin-based sensors. It should be also noted that most of the people who suffer from Parkinson's disease are old, and skin-based sensors may trigger infections on their body.

In the case of fingernail sensors, things are different, and by sensing pressure, temperature, surface textures and more, the device will derive results using artificial intelligence and machine learning. As nails are so tough, researchers were able to attach the device without worrying about any of the issues associated with attaching to the skin.

"Our fingernails deform -- bend and move -- in stereotypic ways when we use them for gripping, grasping, and even flexing and extending our fingers. This deformation is usually on the order of single digit microns and not visible to the naked eye. However, it can easily detect with strain gauge sensors," wrote IBM researchers in their study report.

Researchers believe that the development of this device is a giant leap which will revolutionize the world of healthcare. It should be noted that these fingernail sensors have emerged as an inspiration for a new device that could be attached on the fingertip which will help quadriplegics to speak one day.