Oral hygiene is one of the most important factors affecting people’s health and well-being. This is reflected in the demand for home dental hygiene products, which is worth more than USD 30 billion world-wide, with an estimated increase of 8 % annually. Several recent studies have shown that salivary pH can be used as a diagnostic biomarker for oral and even some gastroenterological diseases. The deviation of salivary pH from the normal value of 7.2 indicates pathological status. However, the self-measurement of salivary pH from spittle using pH lacmus indicator paper is difficult for patients to carry out at home and not sufficiently accurate. The Medika project addressed this challenge by developing an ergonomic ballpoint pen-sized device for accurate self-measurement of a patient’s salivary pH. “We have developed and designed a revolutionary easy-to use medical device for measuring the salivary pH in the mouth, which is accurate to 0.1 pH,” says project coordinator Gabriela Agoston. More information for dentists and patients The patented device, which remotely records the salivary pH for patients before and after surgery, includes a sensor and a software unit and is supported by a mobile application. “Data storage is enabled with transfer capabilities as well as its connection to smart devices and is also made to be accessible for visually impaired people through the use of braille writing,” Agoston explains. Researchers also focused on marketing and educational issues – raising awareness among dentists and patients on the necessity of this new measurement approach. Furthermore, as personal and medical data is handled, great care was taken to comply with the strict requirements of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation. New approach to oral health This ground-breaking device will create a new market, as it will be the first self-measurement device of its kind for measuring salivary pH at home. It will help dentists to measure and record the pH of saliva for a large number of patients routinely and remotely before and after dental surgery. Its use by the wider public will prevent or avoid worsening of several oral and gastroenterological diseases. The team aim to commercialise the easy-to-use medical device for use by professionals in dental surgeries and by patients carrying out self-measurement at home. “Medika will provide a unique tool for dentists to measure salivary pH and open a new horizon for remote dental care through telemedicine systems,” says project coordinator Gabriela Agoston. “The device is expected to reduce the occurrence of post-operative oral inflammations and improve dental heath in general, thereby contributing to healthier society,” she concludes.
Medika, pH, saliva, dentists, health, self-measurement