Most fitness trackers monitor heart rate and the number of steps users take in a day. And while these trackers might be good enough, researchers at the University of California, San Diego think they can provide a better overall view of health. In research released today, they discussed their development of a patch called Chem-Phys that’s worn on a user’s chest. It monitors electrocardiogram heart signals and a user’s levels of lactate, which decreases as we work out. In a trial of the prototype, that data was sent to a user’s mobile app and then cross referenced with data gathered by other consumer wearables.
A device that detects body chemicals on the skin isn’t particularly new, but what makes this research interesting is how it gathers data in real-time and pairs it with heart rate to give a more comprehensive idea of what’s happening in the body. Who knows, maybe this is our wearable future!