STANFORD, Calif. – Wearable sensors may be able to detect illnesses like Lyme disease and diabetes, a Stanford University study has found.
“A new wave of wearable sensors allows frequent and continuous measurements of body functions (physiology), including heart rate, skin temperature, blood oxygen levels and physical activity,” the researchers wrote. “We investigated the ability of wearable sensors to follow physiological changes that occur over the course of a day, during illness and other activities. Data from these sensors revealed personalized differences in daily patterns of activities.”
Researchers found that wearable sensors helped identify the onset of Lyme disease and inflammation. The sensors also revealed physiological differences between insulin-sensitive and insulin-resistant individuals, “raising the possibility that these sensors could help detect risk for Type 2 diabetes.”
The team of Stanford researchers first studied a 58-year-old male with seven devices measuring heart rate, skin temperature, sleep, activity, weight and radiation exposure over 24 months. They then analyzed a larger group of participants to examine the consistency of their findings.
“Overall, these results indicate that the information provided by wearable sensors is physiologically meaningful and actionable,” wrote the researchers. “Wearable sensors are likely to play an important role in managing health.”