Skin Patch To Help Diagnose Diseases By Testing Sweat, Invented [VIDEO]
The skin patch as a sweat analyzing device can monitor a person's electrolyte levels and prompt the user to know when to hydrate. Though aimed for athletes' use, the skin sweat patch may have other health applications like in diagnosing diseases like diabetes or cystic fibrosis
Researchers have developed a skin patch that can be worn on the skin by athletes during workouts or actual competition. The wearable device will help them know the amount of sweat they have released and when it is time to replenish these.
A team of researchers led by lead author, John A. Rogers, director of the Center for Bio-Integrated Electronics at the Northwestern University, developed the skin sweat patch and tested it on sweat bicyclists working out in gyms and competing in long-distance races.
The skin patch is no more than a quarter in size and has a skin-like color with spots that are actually vessels that capture sweat. Once worn, the sweat passes through a tube and into the spots where the sweat interacts with other chemicals, which are used to measure acidity levels, chloride concentrations, glucose and lactate as reported in CBS News.
Using a smartphone to take a picture of the skin patch, a sweat analyzing app will be able to analyze the changes in the colors of the spots and then reports on several sweat biomarkers mentioned earlier. In this way, the health of the athletes is closely monitored through the use of low-cost, non-invasive wearable device to test sweat, not dissimilar in concept with special accessories that can measure heart rate or even calorie intake, Inquisitr reported.
The skin patch was further tested when compared to the results of a conventional method of gathering sweat analysis, which involves the use of absorbent pads. The results were similar, confirming the viability of skin patches as a more convenient, real-time measurement of sweat.
The skin sweat patch has great potential to be used in other health applications particularly in diagnosing diseases including diabetes and cystic fibrosis. It can also be used for military training, which can be intensive and requires closer monitoring to ensure maximum performance without compromising overall health.