Itching or itching is an irritating feeling that awakens the need to scratch the skin. Sometimes it may feel like pain, but it is different. Often times, one part of your body feels itchy, but sometimes your entire body may feel itchy. Along with the itching, you may also get a rash or hives.
It is a difficult symptom to measure, especially for the millions of children with atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema. Children cannot always verbalize or quantify their suffering through a survey or scale . It can also be difficult to objectively measure itchiness in adults with liver disease, kidney disease, and certain cancers who experience their symptoms.
Therefore, it is difficult to keep track of how well treatments and medications are working.
Soft Electronics + AI
But now there is a wearable sensor that actually quantifies itchiness by measuring scratching when placed in the hand . Developed by scientists at Northwestern University , while it has been tested in patients with atopic dermatitis, it can be used on any condition that causes itching.
The sensor can also support clinical trials for new treatments, track treatment response, and monitor disease for worsening, all without leaving home.
This is the first sensor capable of capturing all forms of scratching, related to the movement of the fingers, wrist and elbow. It is also the first validated in a pediatric population where conditions such as atopic dermatitis are the most common .
This sensor combines advancements in soft electronics that seamlessly wrap around the hand with machine learning algorithms that specifically identify scratching without being fooled by similar movement-related motions (eg, hand shaking). The sensor measures both low-frequency movement and high-frequency hand vibrations to significantly improve accuracy compared to wristwatch tools.
The sensor has been in the Food and Drug Administration’s Drug Discovery Tool program. This program allows you to rate novel devices like this sensor to aid in the approval of new drugs.