JAN 31, 2016 07:54 AM PST

Sweat Biosensor Takes Fitness Tracking To New (Salty) Level

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

Wearable sensors that can only track your heart rate and count your steps are so… 2015. Scientists from the University of California Berkeley are engineering a new generation of fitness sensors that can report health information from a salty source: your sweat.

We usually do our best to hide our sweating, but to these scientists, chemicals in perspirations can offer important clues about our health. The new tracker is fitted with 5 tiny sensors that sit on a tiny circuit, designed to be worn with a headband or a wristband. Once it contacts with a person's sweat, the sensors analyzes levels of sodium, potassium, glucose, and lactate. These measurements are then wirelessly sent to a smartphone, letting the health-conscious wearer know about his levels of hydration and even electrolyte balance.

By incorporating this new generation biosensor, researchers hope to break the limits of current fitness trackers that only measure pace, heart rate, and step counts. And hopefully, with more information gleaned from the tracker, the wearer can make better informed decisions about his health
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
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