A study published in the journal Nature, describes the development of what might be next-generation wearable fitness trackers, able to track metabolites and electrolytes during physical activity.
The next step in wearable health and fitness trackers is being developed by researchers from the University of California, Berkeley. The new wearable is designed to measure specific sweat profiles during physical activity, allowing for real-time physiological analysis.
The device has been designed to measure components of human sweat, which is full of valuable physiological information. It consists of plastic-based sensors that come in contact with the skin, and silicon circuits that are involved in the processing of signals. The device measures specific metabolites that are found in sweat, including glucose and lactate. In addition, it is able to measure electrolytes, including sodium and potassium.
The information gathered by this new wearable is then transmitted via Bluetooth and the results are displayed on smartphones or tablets using a specifically designed Android app. This real-time measurement of metabolites and electrolytes has potential application as either a wristband or forehead patch, and real-world application not only for the health-conscious, but also athletes, who will be able to more closely monitor their physiology as they train.
Gao, W, Emaminejad, S, Nyein, HYY, Challa, S, Chen, K, Peck, A, Fahad, HM, Ota, H, Shiraki, H, Kiriya, D, Lien, D-H, Brooks, GA, Davis, RW, Javey, A. “Fully integrated wearable sensor arrays for multiplexed in situ perspiration analysis” Nature 529, 509–514 (28 January 2016)