Does Sweat Hold The Key To The Future Of Health Wearables?
Several elite athletes are inventing ways to get the best out of their training and step up their ability to compete. Sports companies like Adidas and Misfit are increasing innovating and developing technologies and wearable devices that enable athletes to optimize their sporting abilities by collecting a wide range of data related to their training and competition. These include cadence (for cyclists), stride length, lung capacity and heart rate.
One of the easiest and rather interesting ways to collect health and fitness data is through sweat. FC Dallas and San Francisco 49ers are evaluating the suitability and applicability of sweat analysis biosensors while the sports science department at Miami Dolphins carries out a detailed sweat analysis of each player as players whose sweat has a lot of salt tend to cramp easily.
San Francisco 49ers and FC Dallas are piloting sweat analysis biosensors and the Miami Dolphins’ sports science department conducts a thorough sweat analysis of each player as “players who have too much salt in their sweat have a tendency to cramp easier.”
Kenzen is a startup that uses sweat analysis, patented biosensors together with predictive analytics to pre-empty cramping, dehydration and injuries. In 2016, Kenzen was crowned the winner of the Future Athlete category in the 1st and Future Event hosted by NFL, TechCrunch and Stanford.
According to Kenzen CEO Dr. Sonia Sousa, sweat carries very crucial biomarkers and just like blood, it knows much a person’s health. She gives the example of cystic fibrosis where sweat is the main specimen used. Sousa say replacing the more expensive and painful lab-based blood tests with the less painful non-invasive sweat analysis can help bring a lot of benefits for precision and accuracy in medicine as well as personal health.
Studying and analyzing sweat together with other parameters can help in revealing very important and helpful biomarkers like sodium that can assist in predicting and preventing a lot of health complications that are related to nutrition. A classic example is when people with hypertension examine their level of salt intake by analyzing their sweat.