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An Overview of the Muscle Tracker: How a Wearable Sensor for Monitoring Muscle Loss was Developed by Scientists



Muscle loss is common as we get older. Nonetheless, if youngsters begin to lose a perceptible measure of bulk, the circumstance might highlight numerous basic sicknesses. Additionally, the deficit is nothing short of a nightmare for fitness enthusiasts.

As we age or because of other ailments, we might experience muscle loss, otherwise called muscle atrophy. It may have a significant impact on our mobility, balance, and quality of life as a whole. As a result, regular muscle health checks are essential. A muscle tracker, a device that can track muscle loss, has been developed by scientists due to the most recent advancement in wearable health technology.

The muscle tracker is a wearable health sensor that measures muscle activity, strength, and mass to monitor muscle health. Depending on the muscle group that you want to monitor, you can wear it on your arm, leg, or trunk. Two sensors are attached to the skin over the muscle of the device. The device receives feedback from these sensors about muscle activity, which is used to calculate muscle mass and strength.

To date, doctors have relied on MRIs to measure the lapses, but this method is not only time-consuming but also prohibitively expensive. A health sensor designed to detect and monitor muscle atrophy has now been developed by a group of Ohio State University researchers into a solution that is both cost-effective and dependable.

An electromagnetic sensor made of conductive “e-threads,” according to a new study that was published in the IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, could be a powerful alternative to an MRI for detecting muscle loss. The scientists created a 3D-printed limb model and filled it with ground beef to resemble the original muscles as part of their research. They discovered that the device could monitor muscle loss of up to 51% and small volume changes in the overall size of the limbs.

“Ideally, our proposed sensor could be used by healthcare providers to more personally implement treatment plans for patients and to create less of a burden on the patient themselves,” Allyanna Rice, lead author of the study and a graduate fellow in electrical and computer engineering at the Ohio State University, said.

The muscle tracker can be used for a variety of things, such as assisting athletes in keeping track of their muscle health and preventing muscle loss in the elderly. Doctors can detect potential health issues early thanks to the device’s ability to track muscle mass and strength changes over time. After that, you can use this information to come up with specific exercises or treatments to stop muscle loss.

Patients who suffer from muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, or injuries to the spinal cord can also benefit greatly from the muscle tracker. Patients can receive early intervention and improve their overall health outcomes by regularly monitoring their muscle health.

The muscle tracker is an exciting improvement in wearable health technology that can possibly change how we monitor our muscle well-being. Its capacity to track changes in strength and muscle mass over time can aid in the prevention of muscle loss, early detection of potential health issues, and improved outcomes for overall health. With the muscle tracker, we can find proactive ways to keep up with our muscle well-being and carry on with our best lives.

Rice’s earlier work, which involved developing health sensors for NASA, was the basis for the first method known to measure muscle mass. According to an OSU news release, the sensors assisted the agency in monitoring the health of its astronauts during a space mission.

Rice stated that developing a device that conveniently measures muscle atrophy was a challenging process. The device was developed by Rice and co-author Asiminia Kiourti, an Ohio State professor of electrical and computer engineering. They used two coils, one of which transmits and one of which receives, as well as a conductor made of e-threads that run along the fabric in a zigzag pattern. This conductor was found to be the most effective one for measuring sensors across various body parts and limbs.

The device eventually took on the appearance of a blood pressure cuff. Rice is hoping to connect the wearable with other health devices to detect and monitor a wider range of health issues, as well as to link the device to a mobile app, which will make the job of healthcare providers a lot easier. However, this is undoubtedly going to be an ambitious project that will take years to implement.

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