It might look like it comes straight out of a sci-fi movie, but this skin patch is 100% real! Developed by the University of California San Diego, this patch can be worn on the back of the neck to continuously track blood pressure and heart rate in the human body. It can also measure a person’s glucose level as well as lactate, alcohol or caffeine.
It might seem pretty futuristic, but it isn’t that far off in the world of drug testing. At ProntoTrak, we already offer a Sweat Patch made by PharmChek that can be worn on the skin up to 10 days to test for illegal drugs in the skin cells. The polyurethane film in the patch is a “semi-permeable
membrane” which allows the transfer of water vapor and gases. It’s no surprise that the alcohol testing devices can now be monitored with skin patches.
While this device is definitely cool and a look into our inevitable cyber future, the use is more practical in hospital settings. According to the study published in Nature Biomedical Engineering, it could also be used to detect the onset of sepsis, which is characterized by a sudden drop in blood pressure accompanied by a rapid rise in lactate level.
Researchers say one patch which can do it all has the potential to offer a convenient alternative for patients in intensive care units, including infants in the neonatal ICU, who need continuous monitoring of blood pressure and other vital signs. Currently these procedures involve inserting catheters deep inside patients’ arteries and tethering patients to multiple hospital monitors. Joseph Wang, a professor of nanoengineering at UC San Diego and co-author of the study, said: ‘The novelty here is that we take completely different sensors and merge them together on a single small platform as small as a stamp. ‘We can collect so much information with this one wearable and do so in a non-invasive way, without causing discomfort or interruptions to daily activity.’ (MetroUK)
So will this be the future of alcohol monitoring? Probably not right now, but it’s a pretty nifty device for the medical side of things. In the meantime, you can check out our Sweat Patch kits by sending us an email or giving us a call to find out more information on how to get your hands on some real skin patch testing technology.