The strength of your grip can actually tell a lot about your health, at least that’s what some are saying. For example it can be used to be as an indicator of your cognitive abilities or even your heart’s health. Now it seems that the folks over at IBM have developed a sensor that can be worn on your fingernail that can test your grip’s strength.

Basically the sensor is worn over your nail, and when you grab objects and grip them, the sensor will then access the deformation of your nail using an array of strain gauges. This information is then processed and through the use of machine learning, it will be able to detect if you might have any health issues, such as Parkinson’s.

According to IBM’s researchers, “It turns out that our fingernails deform – bend and move — in stereotypic ways when we use them for gripping, grasping, and even flexing and extending our fingers. This deformation is usually on the order of single digit microns and not visible to the naked eye. However, it can easily detected with strain gauge sensors.”

While the sensor was initially developed for helping detect Parkinson’s, the researchers have found that it could potentially have other uses as well. It has also inspired the creation of a device that could potentially one day help quadriplegics better communicate with others.

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