Early warning signs of diseases caused by dysfunctional levels of stress hormones could be spotted more easily thanks to a new wearable device developed by endocrine researchers. This is the first time it has been possible to measure changes to people’s stress hormones as they go about normal daily activities, across both day and night.

The wearable device is worn around the waist and painlessly and automatically samples from beneath the skin every 20 minutes, without the need to collect blood. Importantly, the method allows sampling during sleep, work, and other daily life activities for up to 72 hours in a single session.

The technology, funded by an EU Horizon 2020 project grant, shows how tracking adrenal steroid levels at high resolution and over an extended time period can provide better information about how hormone levels change across daily (circadian) and faster (ultradian) time periods. (Image credit: EPFL)

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