A number of experimental skin-worn biosensors analyze sweat to monitor stress and blood glucose levels. Athletes can now buy Nix, a product designed to prevent dehydration.
The problem with staying hydrated is that you’ll be dehydrated if you wait until you’re thirsty to drink. So athletes drink before they’re thirsty.
The product consists of a single-use flexible patch, the main biosensor device (called the Pod), and a free app on a Bluetooth-paired mobile device.
Using that app, users indicate what activity they’ll be doing, whether they’ll be indoors or outdoors, and what liquid they’ll be drinking – if not water, they can choose from a menu of popular electrolyte drinks.
Once they start sweating – after about 25 minutes – some of it collects in a reservoir in the patch. A microprocessor in the Pod analyzes sweat in real time, calculating per-hour fluid and electrolyte loss.
It sends that data to the app, which tells the user when and how much to drink to avoid dehydration. The app provides a post-workout summary to help users optimize their hydration regimen and choose an electrolyte drink that meets their needs.
The Pod weighs 14 g and can last 36 hours per charge. App works on iPhone, Apple Watch, and Garmin sports watches. Garmin’s Android cycling computer will soon be compatible with Strava, TrainingPeaks, Wahoo, and Zwift.
Nix Hydration Biosensor is available on the product website. A $129 kit includes a Pod, four sweat patches, a charging case, and a USB cable. $25 gets you four patches.