Innovation That Matters

Wearable tracks jaw movement to monitor mental health

Sport & Fitness

HeadScan by MSU uses small radio wave antennas to unobtrusively track jaw movement for eating habits and social engagement.

Making wellbeing wearables as unobtrusive as possible is a challenge often faced by manufacturers, but this glucose-monitoring device shows that it is possible. To this end, researchers at MSU have developed a radio-based system for tracking a user’s eating habits and mental health.


Called HeadScan, the system has two sets of small antennas placed on each of the user’s shoulders, plus a small wearable placed anywhere else on the body. The antennas use radio waves to detect movements in the jaw, which the MSU team have been able to accurately translate into eating habits or social interactions, creating the possibility of monitoring these actions for wellbeing diagnostics. By not recording sound or visual information, users don’t have to worry about the damaging effects of radio waves or have privacy concerns over being recorded.

Lead researcher Mi Zhang is currently working to develop an advanced prototype. Could HeadScan connect to a cloud-based app to notify healthcare workers when a patient is displaying signs of poor mental health?



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