The smart collar tracks a wearer’s health through SWEAT

ByThomas J. Pawlak

Jul 25, 2022

A smart collar that tracks a wearer’s health through SWEAT could change the way 400 million diabetics worldwide monitor their blood sugar

  • The smart collar is designed with a sensor that sits on the back of the neck
  • This allows it to collect small sweat samples from the wearer
  • The sensor then analyzes the sweat for serotonin and glucose levels
  • This could eliminate the need for diabetics to draw blood to check their levels

A new smart collar that can measure multiple chemicals and concentrations in the wearer’s sweat could change the lives of some 400 million diabetics worldwide by eliminating the need for finger-prick blood tests.

The device features a clasp and pendant with the biochemical sensor on the back which, when placed around the neck, captures glucose and serotonin levels.

In a human trial, engineers at Ohio State University showed that the smart collar was able to measure a concentration of sodium, potassium, and hydrogen ions in the subject’s sweat with an accuracy of up to at 98.9%.

The team also plans to have their biosensors added to personal effects such as rings and earrings or even implanted under the skin to notify users of changes in their health.

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The device features a clasp and pendant with the biochemical sensor on the back which, when placed around the neck, captures glucose and serotonin levels

Pictured is a graph showing the location of the smart collar.  The biosensor that analyzes sweat is placed on the back of the neck.  The sensor is so powerful it only needs a small sweat sample to produce a reading

Pictured is a graph showing the location of the smart collar. The biosensor that analyzes sweat is placed on the back of the neck. The sensor is so powerful it only needs a small sweat sample to produce a reading

Study co-author Jinghua Li explained that sweat contains hundreds of biomarkers that contain details about our health status.

“The next generation of biosensors will be so highly bio-intuitive and non-invasive that we will be able to detect key information contained in a person’s bodily fluids,” she said in a statement. statement.

Li also notes that due to the small size of the sensor, only a tiny amount of sweat is needed to capture a reading.

Li and his team conducted the first human trials of the smart collar, which they placed on a subject while they cycled for 30 minutes.

Afterwards, the participant took a 15-minute break, drank a sugary drink and got back on the bike.

The results show that, in all cases, the concentration of glucose in sweat reaches a peak within 30 to 40 minutes after taking sugar.

“The results suggest a less obvious spike in glucose concentration thereafter, indicating that sugar consumption may induce an increase in the amount of glucose in sweat,” the team explained in the study published in Science Advances.

Li notes that while it will be some time before a device similar to the prototype in this study is available to the public, the team is already thinking about what will benefit the people who will need this technology the most. potentially vital.

The first human trials of the smart collar were placed on a subject while they were riding a bicycle for 30 minutes.

The first human trials of the smart collar were placed on a subject while they were riding a bicycle for 30 minutes.

The results of human trials show that in all cases the concentration of glucose in sweat peaks within 30-40 minutes after taking sugar.

The results of human trials show that in all cases the concentration of glucose in sweat peaks within 30-40 minutes after taking sugar.

Instead of using the bulky, rigid computer chips found in our phones and laptops, the sensors are made from ultra-thin materials. This style of design makes the product very flexible, protects the functionality of the device, and ensures that it can safely come into contact with a person’s skin.

Although the study notes that further miniaturization would make it more feasible to implant this and similar devices, for now Li said she envisions it as a lightweight device with circuit configurations simple ones that could be easily incorporated into our daily lives.

While this biosensor is designed to monitor health, a separate wearable accessory announced last year detects if the wearer is in a state of burnout.

Developed by engineers from the Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and start-up Xsensio, the technology detects levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, in sweat.

The device is placed directly on the wearer’s skin and offers both high sensitivity and very low detection limits, the researchers said.