Real-time sweat monitor tracks three key biomarkers

UK startup Sweati has launched its non-invasive real-time sweat monitor, a wearable patch capable of tracking glucose, lactate and hydration.

Developed in collaboration with Imperial College London, the device is about the thickness of two credit cards and can fit in the palm of your hand. According to the developers, the fabric patch uses a combination of microfluidics and chip technology to measure minute levels of sweat. This means the wearer does not have to be engaged in strenuous activity for it to function, although athletes and leisure users are a target market. Other potential users include soldiers in the field and diabetics seeking to monitor glucose levels non-invasively.

“Imagine a device that will be able to tell you when to fuel, when to hydrate and what pace to run at,” said Sweati founder and CEO James Mayo. “That means no more hitting the dreaded ‘wall’ whilst running a marathon. Sweati will make working out enjoyable and efficient.

“For diabetics, it would mean no more blood draws interrupting their day as the patch will continuously send them notifications. Every member of society will be able to maximise their personal performance, but crucially for members of the military, we have the ability to save lives with no more heat casualties.”

Sweati claims that the disposable patch will wirelessly send updates to a companion smartphone app every ten seconds, providing real-time snapshots of the three biomarkers. According to the company, trials with several sports teams have been arranged, as well as testing with branches of the US and UK militaries. Further testing is required before the sweat monitor can be certified as a diabetic medical monitor, but it’s a segment Sweati is keen to target, with the market expected to be worth around $11.4bn by 2023.

“Sweat measurement is the final frontier in body sensing technology,” said Mayo. “The opportunity to measure non-invasively [without a needle] and continuously in an environment where the consumer wants more and more information is enormous.”