Several sources suggest that "smart dust" could be used to make observations about someone's health and the environment around you.

Here are some sources that suggest you could make observations about your health or the environment around you:

Other sources suggests that this could be used to make observations specifically about the environment:

A podcast / novel featured a character that could taste the serotonin or dopamine from a person (I can't remember the name of -- possibly Children of the Revolution). I've never seen a source that suggests there are neurotransmitters in someone's sweat or breathe.

Some secondary sources indicate that the skin is an excretory organ. And you can detect heavy metals in sweat.

What about the health or condition of the body could you determine from an examination of breath and perspiration?

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    $\begingroup$ I think this is an on-topic finite list of things. However, I edited your question to (a) ask one and only one question and (b) clean up all the links. Please edit your post and look at what I did. It's easy and makes it all much more readable. Note that you spend a lot of time pointing out the dust, but that's not relevant to your question. An old-fashioned spectrometer will do the same thing. Cheers! $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Nov 11, 2023 at 20:19
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    $\begingroup$ @JBH the edits you made are pretty awesome! Thank you for help. $\endgroup$ Nov 11, 2023 at 20:21

1 Answer 1


With the right metrics to monitor, probably quite a lot

So let's start off with the obvious:

  • Oxygenation - if you know the amount of gas going in, and the amount of gas coming out - you can do a pretty good estimate of how oxygenated their blood is - which is, I understand, one of the vital statistics.
  • Hydration levels - via Sweat
  • Electrolyte/Salt levels - via Sweat.
  • Your smart dust could probably get someone's pulse and potentially bloody pressure from the vibrations on the skin - so that's all your basics covered.

More fun ones:

  • Cancer! The world is full of storied about Goodest Bois sniffing out Cancer in their owner(s) - we don't fully know how/why but if a Doggo can smell it, then your smart dust can detect it.
  • Pregancy - Hormone secretion in the skin - probably.
  • Fear/Stress/anxiety - Anything Pheremone related, maybe even Love too.

There's probably a heap of others - but I think those are a pretty good place to start.

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    $\begingroup$ Definitely a heap of others. Breath and sweat could contain compounds identifying what the patient had recently eaten, and therefore (probably) thinks like diabetes and other sugar-referenced issues. You could detect indigestion, some (if not all) drugs in the system and ingested poisons. Indexed temperature readings could be used to detect illness. Perfectly? Perhaps only in cases, but I suspect if the capacity to analyze is available, "quite a lot" is likely an understatement. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Nov 11, 2023 at 20:53

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