New Wearable Sensor for Saliva and Tear Production

In the medical industry today, many wearable health devices can help people track things like heart health, diabetes, exercise, blood pressure, and so much more. Heart monitors, fitness trackers, Smartwatches, eyewear, and even clothing are just some things that can allow consumers to track their health and well-being. Another handy device could be on the way, thanks to scientists at Penn State University. The device will monitor your health and administer needed medication to assist a patient’s saliva and natural tears. Most importantly, if approved, it would have to be a low-cost option for patients that want to use it. The device would also help manage and possibly detect certain diseases such as oral cancer and infections, oral ulcers, and many types of eye infections. The device functions by using a microneedle to effortlessly and safely deliver the correct dosage of any prescribed medication that the patient may need through the skin, eye, or tongue. This is achieved by micro to nano steel ports on the structure to deliver the medication even as deep as the patient’s individual cells in their body.

As far as Penn State’s involvement in this process, Professor Huanyu Chang in the Penn State Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics hopes to not only expand this potential miracle technology to other medical uses and applications, but he also hopes that it will be a beacon of hope for people in desperate need of relief from painful ailments. The data of different bodily readings could be readily displayed on a patient’s computer, tablet, or smartphone. Not only that, but the patient would have rapid, accurate results in the shortest amount of time possible.

While this exciting new technology is a long way from being perfected, it is hoped that it can be applied to many applications and devices, big or small, when it is it. The ability to quickly see test results and reading will allow doctors to diagnose and treat their patients much sooner than traditional methods.

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