Smart sensor measures how itchy you are by how much you scratch

An urge to scratch

Oscar Wong/Getty Images

Feeling itchy? A wearable sensor can measure how bad it is by tracking how often you scratch yourself.

Itching is associated with many diseases and in some cases can be debilitating, but diagnosing chronic itching is difficult because there is no objective way to measure how it feels.


Now, Steve Xu at Northwestern University in Illinois and his colleagues have created a soft, waterproof sensor to do just that. It sticks to the back of a person’s…

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