London: Scientists have developed a sensor that when embedded in a tooth could tell doctors if patients have ignored medical advice to give up smoking or eat less.
The sensor works by maintaining a record of how people use their teeth. Built into a tiny circuit board that fits in a tooth cavity, it includes an accelerometer that sends data on mouth motion to a smartphone.
Machine learning software is taught to recognise each telltale jaw motion pattern. Then it works out how much of the time someone is chewing, drinking, speaking, coughing or smoking, `New Scientist` reported.
The device, developed by Hao-hua Chu and colleagues at National Taiwan University in Taipei, can be fitted into dentures or a dental brace, and the team plan to miniaturise the device to fit in a cavity or crown.
In tests on eight people with a prototype implant, the sensor showed "great promise", researchers said.