Patch Would Track Health

Product collects sweat samples to monitor wearer for overexertion, stress
By Laila Weir,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 17, 2008 12:25 PM CDT
Patch Would Track Health
Katie and Ellie Clark, Sept. 12, 2007. Both mother and daughter have an implant in their side to help monitor blood sugar level. A new patch would monitor diabetics' health by analyzing their sweat.   (AP Photo)

Researchers are developing a patch to monitor the wearer’s health by collecting sweat. Embedded in a band or shirt, it analyzes the sweat’s electrolyte content to determine if the person is overexerting or stressed. Other health-monitoring clothing usually detects body temperature and heart rate—testing biochemical signals is “truly unique,” one industry engineer told Technology Review.

The patch also screens indicators that other “smart clothes” monitor, such as pH, pulse, sweat conductivity, and oxygen saturation. Biotex, a group of research institutes and companies in Europe, is about to start testing the patch on obese children and diabetics. The idea is to provide information both for research and to a wearer’s doctor, as well as to allow self-monitoring. (More health stories.)

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