Personal sensors monitor your every move

By: Matt McGovern Email
By: Matt McGovern Email
Biohackers are tinkering with implant ideas that are growing more sophisticated.

The newest sensors will be sewn into your clothing, or even implanted under your skin.

(CNN) - How did you sleep last night? OK, that's an easy question. But do you know your blood sugar, oxygen and hydration levels? Are you coming down with a cold? Does your body need more protein?

Thanks to sensors that track our every move and send detailed health information to our devices, we know the answers to many of these questions. And wristbands are only the first incarnation. The newest sensors will be sewn into your clothing, or even implanted under your skin.

So-called biohackers are tinkering with implant ideas that are growing ever more sophisticated. An internal compass can lead injured hikers to the nearest doctor; retina implants are helping the blind to see. One CEO embedded a microcomputer in his arm to collect and transmit temperature data via Bluetooth.

A New Zealand company is in the early stages of developing a bandage that will change color or use noise to let you know if it's too tight or too loose. Another company is developing socks that record foot pressure, body temperature and heart rate as you exercise, and send that data to a device attached to the sock's cuff.

Activity monitors may soon be prescribed by your doctor and synced to your electronic health record to ensure you're walking the recommended daily mile, says Shane Walker, associate director of medical devices and healthcare IT for IHS Technology. Also on the horizon: constant analysis of urine, stress hormones and blood oxygen levels.

While it's one thing to collect such data, the next step is figuring out what we do with it, says Mike Abbott, general partner at venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

Sensors in the future will be able detect patterns and offer suggestions, recommending you turn in early, for instance, since you didn't sleep well last night, or telling you to drink more water after measuring an increase in your basal temperature, Abbott says.

A sensor may warn you that you're getting sick, Walker says. It could advise athletes on daily exercise for maximum performance, or recommend they rest to avoid injury. Contact lenses may help monitor and treat glaucoma. Ingestible sensors may tell you more about your digestive system.

Sensors are "a must-have" thanks to the rising cost of health care, Abbott says. "We've got to invest more in preventive medicine."


Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
powered by Disqus
KGNS-TV 120 W. Del Mar Blvd., Laredo, TX 78041 Fax: 956-267-8649 News Hotline: 956-723-5161 956.727.8888 email8@pro8news.com
Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 256603291 - kgns.tv/a?a=256603291
Gray Television, Inc.