We are all aware of the various wearable devices that can measure your temperature, heart rate, respiration rate, movement, etc. Very soon you will be able to add the continuous chemical analysis of your metabolites. And all of this is available just by tasting your sweat!
This UC Berkeley video was produced by Roxanne Makasdjian and Stephen McNally, UC Berkeley.
Actually, instead of a tongue there is a wearable, pliable sensor array strip that measures metabolites and electrolytes in the wearers sweat. And all that data is sent to a smart phone.
According to a report in the January 28, 2016 issue of the journal Nature, this device will be the first fully integrated electronic system that will monitor multiple biochemicals in sweat as a continuous stream of data. This technology will have obvious appeal to those fitness types (that already wear Fitbits). But it will also benefit many other conditions that could benefit from more detailed information recorded over the course of a day. It hasn't been that long since we've had wearable EKG recorders to help diagnose with heart conditions. These devices should help in a similar way. In this initial version of the device the sensors measure skin temperature in addition to glucose, lactate, sodium and potassium in sweat. Integrated circuits analyze the data and transmit the information wirelessly to a mobile phone. The researchers expect that this device will become a technology platform for a future generation of sweat-based health monitors.
In this initial version the sensor array is attached to the flexible printed circuit board with off-the-shelf silicon components. There are more than 10 integrated circuit chips that process the sensor output and transmit the data. Next steps involve making this a system-on-a-chip (SOC) which should reduce size power and cost in the future.
The Berkeley Sensor and Actuator Center and the National Institutes of Health helped support this work.