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Now Apple Made a Sensor that Tracks Your Health Status Using Sweat Samples

Written by : Nikita Saha

February 20, 2024

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The patent also describes how perspiration measurement may be automatically triggered when motion sensors suggest the wearer is working out.

Global tech player Apple has developed a new sensor attached to its Apple Watch, which is capable of monitoring health status using sweat samples. Furthermore, the global tech giant has applied for a patent for this new sensor.

Reportedly, with this sensor, the Apple Watch can provide data to athletes, guide fluid intake after a workout, and has potential applications in sobriety tests and medical measurements such as cystic fibrosis.

The patent also describes how perspiration measurement may be automatically triggered when motion sensors suggest the wearer is working out.

How does this Work?

The company's patent application describes how a sweat measurement sensor could be added to a "wearable device" like the Apple Watch.

Apple's patent explains "Embodiments are directed to devices, systems, and methods for determining a perspiration metric of a user. In some embodiments, a device may include a perspiration sensor having first and second electrodes positioned on a skin-facing exterior surface of the device.”

The patent titled “Wearable devices with perspiration measurement capabilities” described how capacitance circuitry may measure a capacitance between the electrodes, which may be used to calculate the perspiration metric.

“In some embodiments, the device defines a cavity such that one or both of the electrodes extend at least partially into the cavity. Other embodiments include a second perspiration sensor and measurements from the second perspiration sensor may be used in calculating the perspiration metric," the patent application noted.

How can this Feature be Useful?

Research indicates that as individuals improve their physical fitness, they tend to sweat more and profusely than the average person. This heightened sweating is attributed to the body's increased exertion and elevated maximum oxygen intake during exercise.

Furthermore, regular physical activity leads to the adaptation of sweat glands, making them work better. It allows users to sweat more, aiding in temperature regulation during strenuous activities.

The application describes the ability to monitor perspiration using a sensor that includes two separate electrodes. These sensors could be used to track the rate of sweat loss, providing insights into the hydration level of the user.

Additionally, the rate of perspiration could help determine the amount of sodium lost by the body, potentially alerting the user about dehydration or hyponatremia.

Moreover, the perspiration measurement feature holds diverse potential applications. For instance, it could replace breathalyzer devices employed in roadside sobriety tests. These devices gauge alcohol levels in water vapor as a replacement for blood alcohol content.

In addition, medical tests that analyze substances in sweat could benefit from this feature. For instance, measuring sweat chloride levels is considered the gold test for cystic fibrosis.

Apple’s Recent Set of Developments

Last year, Apple launched Vision Pro, its first mixed-reality headset to treat mental illness. Although the headset is designed as an entertainment device, Apple aims to potentially use it to address mental illness.

Apple’s Vision Pro is expected to go on sale this year for $3,499. In addition to mental illness detection, the headset can display images and sounds on an internal screen aimed at alleviating users’ stress, depression, or anxiety. With this initiative, Apple seeks to aid its users in treating and diagnosing mental health issues.

Founded in 1976, Apple Inc is an American manufacturer of personal computers, smartphones, and tablet computers. Over the years, Apple has expanded the use of its technology into other domains and industries

In recent years, Apple has been boosting a number of health-related initiatives. It aims to bridge the gaps between patients and doctors, and all the data in between. Further, Apple has enabled an entire ecosystem for other creators to develop their own health applications and new ways to measure different health metrics.


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