At the University of California San Diego researchers have developed a stick-on patch called Chem-Phys that records a basic single lead ECG and measures lactate levels through the skin. The goal of the project was to allow for real-time athletic performance monitoring that’s not only electrical, but biochemical as well, eventually expanding to measure other body parameters and markers. According to the researchers, the technology is the first of its kind to do such disparate measurements in a single device. Moreover, there is a Bluetooth wireless communication chip on board the device that sends real-time gathered data to a nearby smartphone or tablet.
The device has a number of electrodes for ECG and lactate sensing positioned near each other. Typically this would cause interference at such distances, skewing results of both of the sensing components. But the team spent considerable effort in placing the electrodes so as to minimize that effect.
Additionally, the bottom of the device is designed for the lactate component to make contact with the sweat on the skin, while the ECG part has hydrophobic silicone rubber pieces that push sweat away for better direct contact.
Study in Nature Communications: A wearable chemical–electrophysiological hybrid biosensing system for real-time health and fitness monitoring…