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Health monitoring computer mouse

Image credit: Taken from https://unsplash.com/photos/j4PqlNVZ4Bc and edited.

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J. Nikola
J. Nikola Dec 16, 2021
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A computer mouse that detects various health issues and suggests certain actions in accordance with the observed behavior.

Introduction

People use computers a lot, which can be seen from the fact that 78 percent of adults in the United Kingdom use a computer every day. With the increasing usage of computers in schools and at home, this percentage is planned to go even higher.

The question

Can we use the computer to monitor our health?

The existing examples

Early in 2012, a Californian start-up developed a mouse that can measure blood pressure. The user was required to put the finger inside the socket that came out of the middle part of the mouse. Although it was very precise, it was bulky and inconvenient.
In 2015, scientists managed to find a correlation between mouse movements and mild cognitive impairment (MCI). They states that "MCI was associated with making significantly fewer total mouse moves (P < .01) and making mouse movements that were more variable, less efficient, and with longer pauses between movements (P < .05)".
The 2020 study found evidence for the validity of harnessing anonymized mouse cursor motion as a population-scale tremor sensor for epidemiologic studies. Tremors are a common movement disorder often related to neurodegenerative diseases, alcohol withdrawal, and/or physical overexertion.
A study from the same year managed to find strong clues that a rapid web‐based computer mouse test (Hevelius) could detect and accurately measure ataxia and parkinsonism.
In early 2021 paper, scientists found a correlation between self-reported acute stress and computer mouse movements, specifically in the form of a speed-accuracy trade-off.

The solution

What if we created a modern smart mouse with absolutely fantastic design and integrated sensors to monitor:
  • blood pressure
  • glucose levels
  • heart rate
  • stress levels
  • level of sweating
  • movement patterns
The mouse would collect data and the dedicated software would be able to find patterns of diseases and disorders such as:
  • heart rate disorders (as a sign of potential cardiovascular disorders)
  • help heart attack prevention
  • detect increased stress by movement tracking and sweat recognition
  • help diabetics to track glucose levels
  • detect cognitive impairment
When any of the above mentioned things is detected, user would get a notification to visit the doctor, change the habits, or adapt the lifestyle accordingly. The notifications could be displayed next to the cursor, giving a cursor another function.

What do you think?
What other things could be tracked by mouse activity?
What would be the main problem?
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General comments

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Povilas S
Povilas S6 months ago
Good idea! Is there something similar already in place apart from the blood pressure measuring mouse that you mentioned? Also, you propose that the mouse would measure the person's glucose levels, how would this be achieved?
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J. Nikola
J. Nikola6 months ago
Povilas S I tried to find something similar but the closest thing I found was the Californian start-up mentioned above. They developed the mouse for heart rate monitoring, and had plans to develop more functions in future versions, but not sure what happened Ct that project. I would like to see what stopped them.
Concerning the glucose measurement, I needed to dig in a bit to provide you with a solution, since I just mentioned it as a cool feature to add. In my opinion, the easiest way to implement a glucometer would be to install the receiver /scanner for conventionally used continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) devices, such as Freestyle Libre, Eversense, Dexcom G6, or Guardian Connect System. Since these systems continuously read data and you just need to wave in front of them with a specific device or a smartphone (NFC), implementing an NFC reader inside the mouse body could make the mouse a glucose reading system. That's maybe the easiest solution. What do you think?
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Povilas S
Povilas S6 months ago
Juranium Yes, that's what I asked because you have to inject an electrode under your skin for it to have contact with your blood/interstitial fluid to be able to measure glucose levels. So the mouse wouldn't really measure it, just register the data sent from a CGM device.
I was thinking maybe there's a possibility to measure it from a person's sweat somehow. And turns out there already has been work done to move in that direction. If proven to be accurate on a large scale, such technology could be implemented into a health-monitoring mouse. Just that the mouse with all the sensors could become a bit bulky and expensive.
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J. Nikola
J. Nikola6 months ago
Povilas S Yes, that was my solution - to just read the data.
The linked paper is very interesting and it would be a great addition to the mouse, making it less bulky, as you mentioned. I see that they have the same problem as we described in the glucose-measuring contact lens contribution - low accuracy and problems with sweat reflecting the blood concentrations of sugar. They normalized it and adapted to an individual by twice-a-month normalization with a regular blood test so this is the way how it could work on the mouse, too. Even the best devices on the market need to be normalized, so it wouldn't be a deal-breaker.
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Povilas S
Povilas S6 months ago
Juranium Yes, but two times a month is nothing in comparison to piercing your finger each time or having a needle stuck in your arm all the time. The article mentions that they used a smart algorithm to convert sweat glucose levels to blood glucose levels on an individual level. That's perhaps where the breakthrough lies. They just have to test it within a wider population.
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