Wearable technologies, whether in the form of a smartwatch, band or medical patch, are revolutionizing the way we incorporate health information into the management of health and wellness. New platforms, mobile apps and sensor technologies are steadily streaming into both the consumer and healthcare markets, helping drive people to better understand how their lifestyle choices, occupation or environment impact anything from sleep quality to body temperature.
There’s been increasing awareness around what should be considered a new vital – hydration. Most people understand that adequate water intake is important and staves off sluggishness, helps the feeling of satiety, and assists in the prevention of kidney stones. Dehydration is generally something we know to avoid. But there exists an interesting phenomenon – regardless of this seemingly widespread acceptance of the basics surrounding a natural need to consume adequate fluids, a large majority of adults are chronically underhydrated. For clarification, this isn’t segmented to athletes or people that are routinely exposed to hot environments. This population includes office workers, kids and elderly folks. How do we go about improving hydration management?
Access to information related to someone’s hydration status is hard to come by – one either needs a trip to a clinic, research laboratory, or is an athlete with a trainer that uses urine analyses and sweat patches for monitoring. Worse, once a person is thirsty, they’re already approaching the clinical definition of dehyration, which is 2% loss of body mass or more (representing fluid loss).
The great thing: There is a new solution on the block – and everyone needs to hear about it.
What if we were able to use photonic sensors to determine someone’s hydration status, and also deliver the information in an easy to read index? This has never been done before successfully, but it is coming, and it will revolutionize the way we understand the importance of personalized fluid intake. Solutions like this have the potential to reduce the risk of heat illness, kidney issues, symptoms related to anxiety and improve cognitive clarity.
To read more about the various shortcomings associated with monitoring hydration – and how certain biosensors may offer a new and successful solution, check out this white paper published by Rockley Photonics, a leading developer of a novel class of infrared photonic sensors: