New Wearable Chewing Gum Technology Used for Monitoring Patients

Healthcare Technology Development.


Rapidly evolving technology capabilities are transforming our lives; and wearable technologies were at the top of everyone’s wish list during the recent holiday season. Although these gadgets offer a myriad of consumer applications, the implications for health and wellness are impressive. From tracking workout goals and activity, to monitoring heart rate and even logging sleep and rest cycles, wearable technology is increasingly playing a vital role in our everyday lives.

The devices we are all familiar with, however, are made up of metal components. While highly sensitive metal is perfect for consumer use, it can be inflexible and doesn’t easily move with the body. Although silicone and plastics are sometimes implemented to solve this challenge, the sensitivity of metal is not evident in these materials. So what is the answer for more precise medical applications? Researchers at the University of Manitoba believe that they have discovered the solution – at the checkout line of the grocery store.

Chewing gum is probably not your first thought when it comes to an effective wearable device. However, scientists have discovered that the elastic, adhesive and malleable substance has exactly the needed characteristics. In research published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, researchers explained the findings of their experiment. A piece of gum was first chewed for a half an hour, then bathed in ethanol and allowed to sit overnight. In the morning, a solution of carbon nanotubes – the sensory technology – was applied and evenly distributed by pulling and folding the elastic chewing gum.

The chewing gum device was attached to fingers, and effectively detected finger bends and movement. When applied to the throat, movement from deep breathing and sneezing was successfully recorded. The “gum technology” also appears to be sensitive to fluctuations in humidity; providing an unexpected extra benefit, which may be useful in monitoring breathing.

As far as technology has come, it is fascinating to consider that the answer to a dilemma can still be found in the every day. Similarly, Integrity Locums provides innovative yet practical, every day solutions to health care personnel issues – whatever your staffing needs, we have the employment resources that you require. Call us today to speak to one of our expert consultants.