Interactive Devices DOW-Health: Underwater Sweat Sensor


sweat patchA sweat sensor that looks similar to a mosquito repellant patch has been developed by John Rogers, Ph.D, an engineering professor and the chairman of the board of directors at Epicore Biosystems, which is a company that specialises in flexible skin devices that monitor fluids. What I find interesting about this sensor is that it makes use of colour change in certain chemical reactions to give a very visual feedback for the user. A lot of times, devices show users information via numbers and statistics, which can get too overwhelming. This sensor helps the user to decipher in a very simple way of colours.

How the device works via chemistry and indicators:

This sweat sensor can help athletes monitor how much fluids they are losing so that they can replenish accordingly and maintain their best performance.

Although there are other variants to measure sweat levels in athletes as they exercise and engage in sports, they were no ways for swimmers to keep track of their sweat levels even though they are also considered athletes. One pro of this particular sweat sensor is that it is waterproof so that swimmers can also keep track of their hydration level and in turn, their overall performance. Sweat loss is related to electrolyte loss and John Rogers says, “Dehydration affects performance and can lead to cramping in the pool, but you don’t have any idea how much water you need.”. However, one con of this device is that there is no way for it to connect to a mobile app per se, so that means there is no long term tracking included with the device, and that users have to keep track on their own if they want to make use of the data collected from the device in the long run. However, research is still ongoing and they are looking into setting up a mobile app to be paired with this device to make long term statistics tracking a lot easier.