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Wearable device for oral biodata collection and analysis

Jin Kyun Lee, Chairman, Perio Dental Clinic – Director for International Affairs, Korean Dentist Association.

In response to changes in smart healthcare, this report devised a wearable device that provides new medical services for patient-specific disease diagnosis and sleep disorder analysis through monitoring of biological data collected from saliva. The wearable device based on the clear aligner is expected to create a great expected effect in the market of the smart healthcare field in response to the rapidly changing health service paradigm by simultaneously satisfying the aesthetic effect and ease of wearing.

1. Introduction

1.1. Smart healthcare concept

It refers to the field that conveniently provides various health-related services to consumers by diversifying existing medical service types by combined ICT into the medical field. According to each research report, ‘Smart Health’ is variously defined, and according to «NIPI» research report [1], Smart Health Care monitors and manages the individual health status of patients in real time without restrictions on time and place. It is defined as a service or system that provides optimized customized treatment by analyzing health information and disease conditions. As such, the diversification and paradigm shift in the way of providing medical services is due to the increase in economic level and the development of medical technology and ICT technology. An innovative change in the evolution from traditional healthcare to smart healthcare is that medical services provided to customers are aimed at diagnosis and prevention through customized disease monitoring. To achieve this, it is necessary to converge technology in various fields beyond traditional medical technology. In addition, smart healthcare is expected to create enormous economic effects, and many studies are being conducted in various fields to respond to the paradigm shift in health services.

1.2. Services provided by major global companies

In response to the advent of smart healthcare, major global companies also provide various types of services [2]. “Apple,” a company that develops PC and mobile communication devices, has recently emerged in the mobile health wearable device market. It provides a service that checks the health status by managing the user’s health information in real time by utilizing its online platform. Also, ‘Alphabet’, a subsidiary of ‘Google’, is trying to converge various medical services and technologies through the GoogleX project. For example, we started to develop smart shoes, which are wearable devices, and this technology aims to provide customized exercise coaching functions by measuring and analyzing information such as energy consumption and exercise by analyzing consumer behavior patterns. In addition, ‘Google’ is developing a ‘smart contact lens’ that attaches to the human eye to measure the patient’s glucose or intraocular pressure, and monitors and predicts the health of diabetics or glaucoma patients [Fig. 1].

Figure 1. – Schematic diagram of smart contact lens

1.3. Wearable device for oral biodata collection

Despite the fact that the smart contact lens being developed by ‘Google’ provide the ability to measure blood glucose level with the tears of patients, it has a fatal drawback that it is difficult to analyze the blood glucose in real time because glucose level in tears changes within 10 minutes. In addition, in the case of smart contact lens, the user may face difficulties in wearing them or feel repulsive and it is impossible to wear the lens for a long time. Due to the limited area of​​the lens, technical limitations exist in implementing the sensors, signal transmission, power supply, and etc. To solve this problem, this report devised a wearable device that collects oral biometric data. From the perspective of biodata analysis, saliva analysis is a non-invasive biodata collection method which is easy and does not give users a sense of rejection. Also, regular measurement in the long term enables daily biodata collection, followed by reliable high disease diagnosis [3].

One disadvantage of saliva is its variability caused by food intake, but it could be overcome by conducting the measurement during sleep.

1.4. Research on literature related to oral biodata sensing devices

Mannoor, Manu S and others have developed a graphene-based nanosensor [Fig. 2] that can be attached to the tooth enamel and monitor bacteria and transmit wirelessly [4]. Graphene can detect analytes with high sensitivity due to the nature of nanoscale. The research team presented a real-time detection and remote monitoring technology of bacteria in saliva by attaching a graphene nanosensor to a tooth, and suggested that it could detect various biochemical analytes in addition to bacteria. In addition, Lee and Yongkuk et al. developed an intraoral sodium sensor suitable for patients with hypertension [5]. The ..


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