Maybe you got a fitness tracker like Fitbit and were eager to begin tracking your activity, exercise, sleep, and weight to improve your health. But like many Americans, you found it inconvenient to use and no longer wear it much. Or perhaps you have health issues that require more robust measurements than a standard fitness tracker provides. Now there’s a smart patch in development that monitors and analyzes the physiological signals in human sweat to help improve health and performance.
San Francisco-based startup Kenzen created the ECHO Smart Patch to help people avoid preventable injuries and health complications. The small flexible patch adheres directly to the skin and can be worn under your clothing and attached directly to your torso. Unlike single function devices, the ECHO Smart Patch monitors multiple signals to share a more complete picture of health. It measures hydration, vital signs, and electrolytes like sodium, metabolites, glucose, and various molecules and proteins from a single bead of sweat. The patch provides real-time sweat analysis that can tell you, for example, if your glucose levels are too high or if your body is dehydrated. Wireless technology connects the device to your phone, smartwatch, or computer so you can track your health and performance in real time and receive actionable health alerts via the Kenzen smartphone app. While most fitness trackers tell you what you’ve already done, the ECHO Smart Patch focuses on your current state of performance and health. According to the company’s website, the device aims to provide continuous health monitoring, predictive health analytics, and personalized insights and alerts. Data on dehydration, heart rate, respiration and body temperature will allow users to make optimal decisions in real-time about their health and performance.
The ECHO Smart Patch clearly aims to be more than a simple fitness tracker. In a Forbes.com profile of advances in personalized and precision medicine, Kenzen co-founder and CEO Dr. Sonia Sousa, said “Kenzen is working to predict and prevent avoidable injuries and adverse health events before they happen through continuous monitoring of the body. Only by combining unique biosensors and analytics, in context, will we be able to improve health outcomes.” The plan is to launch the patch in sports stores and online at the end of 2017. Retail cost is expected to be $300.