New wearable tech could help track pollution, coronavirus particles

New wearable tech could help track pollution, coronavirus particles
Wearables are great and all, but usually, they can track very basic things like your heart rate and extrapolate other information through clever algorithms. Yale School of Public Health Assistant Professor Krystal Pollitt has developed a lightweight, unobtrusive wristband, called the Fresh Air, TechXplore reports. This wearable looks like a small wristwatch and utilizes an air sampler instead of a watch face to detect air pollutants.

While Fresh Air was initially designed to detect pyrene, nitrogen dioxide, and other pollutants, professor Pollit believes the wristband can be modified to detect small airborne pathogens such as coronavirus. She's collaborating with Jordan Peccia, the Thomas E. Golden Jr. professor of chemical and environmental engineering, and Dr. Jodi Sherman, associate professor of anesthesiology and epidemiology, to further investigate Fresh Air's capabilities as a pandemic tracking device.


At its current state of development, Fresh Air needs the help of additional equipment to analyze samples and assess pollution and viral exposure (potentially). In the future, however, the tech might evolve into an autonomous tracker or even get embedded into the smartwatches of tomorrow. The ability to assess the environment and detect potentially harmful substances and pathogens by wearing a light and unobtrusive wristband will indeed prove useful. Let's hope scientists find a way to get the tech to consumer products as fast as possible.

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