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Wearable Sensors Can Tell If You’re Sick Before You Even Feel It

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William Cutright
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Reuters Health – It may one day be possible to spot illness the same way many of us already track our exercise habits and sleep patterns: with wearable sensors, researchers say.

In a new study, 60 people wore devices that collected more than 250,000 measurements a day on things like heart rate, oxygen in the blood, activity levels, calories expended, sleep patterns and skin temperature.

After researchers got a baseline idea of normal readings for each person in the study, they looked for deviations from these typical patterns to see whether changes might be tied to new environmental conditions, illness, or other factors that can impact health.

Your car has 400 sensors, and dashboard lights go on when a problem occurs like the engine starts overheating or you are nearly running out of gas, Snyder said by email.

In the future, you will have multiple sensors relaying information to your smartphone, which will become your health dashboard, Snyder added.

Alerts will go off with elevated heart rate over your normal level and heart beat abnormalities will be detected - these will enable early detection of disease, perhaps even before you can detect it yourself.

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