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New wearable ‘like a complete lab on the skin’

Using a new wearable that is currently being developed in America people will soon be able to monitor key health stats on the go. 

The beauty of this is that it is a fully integrated system that someone can wear without being tethered to benchtop equipment.

Patrick Mercier, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at UC San Diego

As well as monitoring blood sugar levels, and tracking muscle fatigue, users will also get an alert when they are drinking too much.

“This is like a complete lab on the skin,” said center director Joseph Wang, a professor of nanoengineering at UC San Diego and co-corresponding author of the paper. “It is capable of continuously measuring multiple biomarkers at the same time, allowing users to monitor their health and wellness as they perform their daily activities.”

Microneedles thinner than human hair, in a ‘velcro-type patch’, painlessly penetrate skin to interact with biomolecules that can reveal glucose, alcohol, and lactate levels in real-time.

“With our wearable, people can see the interplay between their glucose spikes or dips with their diet, exercise and drinking of alcoholic beverages. That could add to their quality of life as well,” said Farshad Tehrani, a nanoengineering Ph.D. student in Wang’s lab and one of the co-first authors of the study.

Thanks to its clever design, the disposable microneedle patch can be easily removed from the electronic case containing the sensors, battery and wireless transmitter. With the device itself easily recharged using any wireless charging pad that can power phones and smartwatches.

Following successful tests of the device, Farshad and Hazhir Teymourian – who previously worked as a former postdoctoral researcher in Wang’s lab, have set up a startup called AquilX to take the next steps in brining the wearable to market.

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Written By

Susan is the co-founder of Innovators Magazine and a consultant for OnePoint5 Media. Susan is also a member of the UNFCCC-led Resilience Frontiers Nexus group and co-chair of the APOPO Foundation UK board.

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