Check Your Health Level With A Wearable Sweat Sensor.
Sweat. What an enemy the sweat is. It betrays your nervousness. It leaves ugly spots on our clothes. It drips down on your faces at the gym, and even worse it makes you stink. However, you may soon start to like your sweat. Or, at least, you’ll like what it can reveal about your health.
A team of scientists at Berkeley University has created a small, wearable sensor, which can read the molecular composition of your sweat. Even better, the device can send the results in real time to your mobile. This flexible plastic patch is the first of its kind and can check in your sweat, the levels of glucose, sodium, potassium, and lactate.
The Sweat Sensor Measures Multiple Sweat Analytes At the Same Time
“The human sweat contains abundant information, thus making it an attractive body fluid for non-invasive wearable sensors. However, sweat is complex, and it is important to measure all targets and extract the meaningful information about your state of health. With this idea in mind, we have developed an integrated system that can measure multiple sweat analytes. All at the same time.” said Ali Javey, Professor scientist at UC Berkeley.
The sweat sensor has been tested on many volunteers, exercising indoor and outdoor, and at different levels of intensity. At the moment, the smart sensor is still a bit too large for commercial use. However, this is not a problem. The size of the device can be changed according to the team. More than that, shrinking the device will not affect its functionality at all.
Why Is This Sweat Sensor So Important?
Thanks to this new sensor, you can now have access to real-time health info. Info that you could obtain before only from a blood sample processed in a lab. This real-time aspect of the sweat sensor makes it critical for monitoring athletes or even astronauts who are always under considerable physical pressure.
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However, the sweat sensor technology is still in its infancy and requires more research. Jason Gaps Heikenfeld, a professor at the University of Cincinnati is concerned that gaps can form between the sensor and the skin. Because of those gaps, the sweat sensor won’t be able to collect accurate data if the user is not continuously sweating. However, he said, the UC Berkeley team’s device is “a great achievement.”
“We are beginning to address the hard science of wearables. This sweat sensor is a huge step forward. It is the first public preview of what is possible.” said Dr. Heikenfeld.