This medical wearable will make you sweat
Photo: University of Cincinnati

This medical wearable will make you sweat

Sweat is serious medical business, able to read a patient's glucose levels and even detect cystic fibrosis

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Sweet sweatUsing wearables to diagnose medical issues is potentially big business, and researchers at the University of Cincinnati have come up with a way to make a patient sweat without hardly lifting a finger. The device forces someone to sweat in a specific location of their body, through a chemical component and electrical current. The sweat can then be read by sensors, with the data sent to a doctor or healthcare provider.

The key to the sensor is that the patient doesn't have to get their heart racing — the sweat is local to a specific area, and the wearer can remain comfortable. That detail could be extremely helpful for heart patients, for example, who can't get their blood pressure up or pulse racing. Sweat is also able to read changes in a patient from glucose levels to cortisol spikes, which can brought on by stress.

Wearables that do more than just coach runners through their next mile are of interest, with researchers exploring sleep devices that can help with PTSD to wearable tattoos that read body temperature. A study based on the new device that ran in the journal, Lab on a Chip in July, found that the wearable could make a patient produce sweat for up to five hours.

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Photo: The device developed by researchers at the University of Cincinnati was able to induce sweat in wearers for up to five hours. (Credit: University of Cincinnati)

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