IBM unveils AI-powered fingernail sensor that can monitor Parkinson’s progression

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Author: Roisin McCormackPublished: 16 January 2019

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US information technology giant IBM has unveiled a prototype of the first artificial intelligence (AI) powered fingernail sensor designed to track disease progression.

The AI system – a wireless device that attaches to the fingernail – monitors the movement of the patient’s nail and calculates their grip strength.

Data gathered is then used to determine how the wearer’s grip has changed over time, and also tracks symptoms such as bradykinesia, tremor and dyskinesia.

Katsuyuki Sakuma, a researcher at IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Centre, New York US, said: “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.

“By pushing computation to the end of our fingers, we’ve found a new use for our nails by detecting and characterising their subtle movements.”

To read more on this topic click here.

For more information on Parkinson’s assessment tools please visit Parkinson’s Europe website.


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