A team of researchers from Illinois’s Northwestern University have developed a biometric patch that can be worn on the skin underwater for up to two hours.
The patch, measuring in with a diameter of only 30mm, is designed to monitor the wearer’s hydration metrics, with the aim of detecting dehydration and related issues. It features small holes in its underside which collect sweat, which is then deposited into miniature chambers for analysis. Data can then be transmitted to an external device, such as a smartphone, through wireless NFC communications.
The patch attaches to the wearer via a skin-safe adhesive, and is itself flexible in form.
As Tech Xplore reports, the researchers have already trialled the patch with a number of athletes including those performing on dry land. Their findings are explored in an academic paper published in Science Advances.
As for commercial plans, the patch isn’t yet available; but two of the researchers involved, John A. Rogers and Roozbeh Ghaffari, are co-founders of a commercial venture for epifluidic devices called Epicore Biosystems. (And Rogers happens to be an associate editor of Science Advances.)