Gatorade has demoed a working version of its sweat patch earlier this month. The product is expected to be commercially available from next summer.
Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets
The wearables space is littered with devices that track everything from steps and calories to the number of reps and sets you are lifting in your local gym. These gadgets are getting better with each passing day, but it is fair to say that its been a while since we’ve seen a fitness device that has truly opened up a new frontier in monitoring your health.
This is about to change soon.
There has been one extremely valuable source of health information that has been ignored so far – your sweat. Every drop of this liquid tells a story about what is happening inside the body. It provides information on dehydration, stress, muscle cramping, high cholesterol, depression and even blood glucose.
Sweat is an ideal source for the capture of data that the medical community usually gathers from our blood, urine, and saliva. It is also the least invasive—no needle or cup needed.
The science of sweat is still in the early stages although clinical uses trace back to the 1950’s. It is only now that we are witnessing rapid acceleration of the technology for applications ranging from athletics to pediatrics to pharmaceutical monitoring.
Gatorade, which is owned by PepsiCo, is one of the first companies that is looking to release a commercial product. Developed with John Rogers and his team, their sweat patch looks at differences in color caused by chemical reactions. Users can then examine the patch to monitor both the level of dehydration and the concentration of chloride in their body.
Check out the video below to see how it works.
The product has not been released to the public just yet, but Triathlete Magazine got their hands on a working version earlier this month at Gatorade’s Endurance House in Kona, Hawaii. As shown in the video below, you are meant to stick the thing to your forearm from where it collects data during exercise.
Once you’re done scan the patch with your smartphone. The Gatorade’s mobile app will display sweat results including sweat rate (how much you sweat), sweat type and sodium concentration. It will also spit out info on what you need to do to recover in terms of nutrition and hydration as well as giving you an insight into what to do to prepare next time around for your bike or run.
“The ideal use case for the patch is to be worn for an activity you would do again in the future,” Chris Hintermeister, director of innovation at Gatorade, told Triathlete Magazine.
“If you run for an hour and sweat test in that same scenario then you may not need to wear the patch again. But if you’re working out in a different climate or different intensity or sport, there’s merit to wearing the patch more than one time.”
Sweat patches are intended for single-use. No word on pricing just yet but expect to find the product commercially available from next summer on gatorade.com.
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