Wednesday, February 3, 2016

You Can Run but You Can’t Dehydrate!

For the first time, a new wearable fitness tracker analyzes four chemicals in your sweat to prevent dehydration. With this new technology, glucose, lactate, sodium, and potassium, are simultaneously and in real time detected. It even records skin temperature to calibrate the response of the sensors. The system wirelessly delivers all results to a linked smartphone app. This new breakthrough in wearable biosensors will provide a wide range of personalized applications.

A new health tracker can analyze chemicals in sweat by combining flexible sensors with a traditional electronic circuit board. M. ROSEN/SCIENCENEWS 2016
Previously, only one chemical could be analyzed due to the complexity of system integration to ensure accuracy of the measurements. Ali Lavey and colleagues have bridged the gap between data processing and sensors that hug the skin.

The custom-developed mobile application for data display and aggregation.W. GAO ET AL/ NATURE 2016
By analyzing sodium concentrations, the wearable system does the thinking for you, to tell you when you need to take that extra sip. To test this, the researchers had 12 volunteers wear the device under a headband while on an outdoor run. Six of them drank every five minutes, and the others didn’t have any water. The sensors accurately picked up signs of dehydration from all of the nondrinkers as it produced an uptick in sodium levels.

Javey predicts the device could potentially be used for diagnosing lead poisoning in children without blood, or even detecting molecules in perspiration linked to depression.


Rosen, Meghan. "Tracking Health Is No Sweat with New Device." Science News. N.p.,n.d. Web. 31 Jan. 2016.

W. Gao et al. Fully integrated wearable sensor arrays for multiplexed in situ perspiration analysis. Nature. Published online January 27, 2016. doi: 10.1038/nature16521. 

Posted by “Dasha Agoulnik” (1).


  1. This is such a cool fitness tracker! I’ve never even heard of a tracker that was able to analyze chemicals. This is such a step up than the average step counters! I used to run cross country in high school and I remember on really hot days during our practices and races my team would have designated times where we would rehydrate, having this tracker would’ve been so helpful to prevent dehydration. Your blog was on such an interesting topic and seeing that there’s a possible future for this product to advance in ways that will help a variety of people makes this science even better.

    Emily Mueller (Group 2)

    1. I agree! I think it has the potential to do a lot for not only the running community, but also in other areas such as the military to prevent injury in training. I am looking forward to seeing how the product develops, and if they do in fact look into diagnosing diseases with it as well.

      Dasha Agoulnik

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