May 27, 2015Using Technology to Track Hydration Levels
Researchers in Scotland have developed a device that can provide real-time data about fluid loss in athletes. The hope is athletes can use this data to stay properly hydrated and maintain optimum performance levels.
According to an article in Medical News Today, a small transdermal sensor that analyzes the electrolytes in sweat is attached to the body. Its data can be sent to a smartphone, allowing users to precisely track their hydration level.
The device was developed by Dr. Stephen Milne, of the University of Strathclyde Department of Biomedical Engineering. It has undergone successful testing in Qatar and the United Kingdom.
“On an individual level this would allow people to rehydrate during and after exercise. When it comes to team sports, fitness coaches would be able to monitor the data during matches and ensure athletes get what they need to maintain their performance,” Milne said. “The senso0r is small and wearing it on the skin does not cause any discomfort. During exercise the user would barely be aware of it, allowing them to focus on the activity without distraction.”
Officials at Scotland’s national sports agency, sportscotland, are examining ways to use the new technology—which grew out of products designed to aid home monitoring of patients—to increase performance in the country’s elite athletes.
“In high performance sport the ability to understand and then optimize an athlete’s performance can mean the difference between winning medals or going home empty handed,” said Dr. Malcolm Fairweather, Head of Science and Innovation at sportscotland.