A device the size of a wristwatch can monitor an individual’s body chemistry to help improve athletic performance and identify potential health problems. The device can be used for everything from detecting dehydration to tracking athletic recovery.
A replaceable strip on the back of the device is embedded with chemical sensors. That strip rests against a user’s skin, where it comes into contact with the user’s sweat. Data from the sensors in the strip are interpreted by hardware inside the device, which then records the results and relays them to a user’s smartphone or smartwatch.
While the work for this paper focused on measuring glucose, lactate and pH, the sensor strips could be customized to monitor for other substances that can be markers for health and athletic performance — such as electrolytes. The researchers are now running a study to further test the technology when it is being worn by people under a variety of conditions.