Researchers are developing a patch to monitor the wearer’s health by collecting sweat. Embedded in a band or shirt, it analyzes the sweat’s electrolyte content to determine if the person is overexerting or stressed. Other health-monitoring clothing usually detects body temperature and heart rate—testing biochemical signals is “truly unique,” one industry engineer told Technology Review.
The patch also screens indicators that other “smart clothes” monitor, such as pH, pulse, sweat conductivity, and oxygen saturation. Biotex, a group of research institutes and companies in Europe, is about to start testing the patch on obese children and diabetics. The idea is to provide information both for research and to a wearer’s doctor, as well as to allow self-monitoring.