While some people may be incredibly intune with the inner workings of their bodies, a majority of people are not. This means that while some people may be able to treat their medical conditions immediately at the onset, others are not as fortunate. This can especially be a problem for people who suffer from mental disabilities that often times require treatment before serious complications arise. But what do you do if you’re among the majority who can not detect the changes in your body before they cause problems?
Researchers at MIT think they may have discovered the answer with the use of skin sensors that detect the chemical changes in a person’s body. It’s their hope that they can use these sensors to help alert people with disabling mental conditions before situations get too bad.
Originally, the team developed the sensors to monitor changes in a person’s body using information given to the sensors from the surface of the skin. According to one of the professors who worked on the study, the information would change depending on a person’s activity, stress levels and how much sleep they got. One day, while looking over the data, the team noticed a huge spike. It turned out to be a seizure in a small boy and the team quickly realized that the sensors could be used in an incredibly helpful way.
As some people may know, certain types of epilepsy can qualify as disabilities. This is generally because seizures are often times unpredictable and depending on their severity, can cause serious medical complications as well. But the researchers at MIT think their new skin sensors may be able to help predict seizures before they occur. So far in their controlled studies they have been able to detect grand mal seizures with 100 percent accuracy in all affected patients.
But the study may be adapted to other disorders as well. The team has recently gotten approval to test the sensors on migraine patients as well. The hope is to use the technology to give advanced warning to patients without the use of current invasive procedures.
Source: Innovation Trail, “Wearable tech full of potential for health care applications,” Kate O’Connell, April 5, 2013