Smart Patches as a Supplement to Health Stretching?

It is now no problem or even a matter of course that fitness tractors or smartwatches can not only detect the activity of the wearer, including, for example, steps, distance or speed, but also their heart rate. Also the timely detection of cardiac arrhythmia is possible with the devices. In addition, today’s tracker offers versatile possibilities to analyze the sleep behavior of the wearer and, if necessary, to optimize it. Researchers at Northwestern University (Illinois, USA) have now succeeded in developing a kind of pavement that might also be of interest to manufacturers of smartwatches and fitness tracers in the future:

The “skin patch” has just a diameter of 2.5 centimeters and can easily be glued to the forearm or back. The sensor integrated in the small patch, consisting of four components, is capable of measuring four so-called “biomarkers”. Biomarkers are measurable parameters of biological processes, in which case the “skin patch” analyzes the perspiration of the carrier, more precisely the PH, glucose, chloride and lactate values.

Display:

But what can these values serve? Professor John A. Roger, head of the research team, emphasizes that the chemical composition of perspiration can tell a lot about a person’s physical health. With the “skin patch”, for example, it is possible to find out how the water balance of an athlete is currently running a marathon or cycling through the desert. However, it is not quite clear how much sweat actually has to “flow”, so that the pavement can deliver conclusive results. So we do not know if you can do without sports with the “skin patch”, whether you have enough water to eat.

As soon as welding reaches the different sensor areas, a chemical reaction takes place, which has an effect on the color of the patch, which in turn gives information about the water or electrolyte content of the carrier. An app that allows you to take a photo of the pavement analyzes the color and informs the user about what the particular color really means. Test with comparative groups have shown that the functions described above work perfectly and are consistent with the values ​​determined in the laboratory – they are still far removed from the mass production.

Since the pavement is very small and unobtrusive, it is not even an unrealistic thought game, if one imagines that a smart “skin patch” is integrated in fitness trackers or smartwatches in the future and thus provides the wearer with even more information about his body.

 

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