ultraflexible-organic-photonic-skin

Put That Fitbit Down. The Game Changing Future of Health Wearables is Here.

Put That Fitbit Down.
The Game Changing Future of Health Wearables is Here

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Whether you have your eye on the newest Apple Watch, or are thinking about implementing a Fitbit into your fitness routine, wearable electronics are all the craze right now and we are far from immune to the mania.

When it comes to gaining the edge and supercharging your life, health wearables are an invaluable tool, but there is still a lot of room for improvement. Thankfully, this exciting technology is growing more and more practical every day and it is fascinating to compare the latest and greatest options flooding the market.

We are constantly scouring journals, websites, and reports for data and technology that can change the game for the biohacking entrepreneur, giving us another opportunity to stay ahead of the curve. This jaw-dropping biotechnology application is still in development, but we are too excited about the potential this holds to keep quiet about it.

One of the more recent advances in biotechnology research and development has been epidermal electronics, or “electronic skin,” which are typically ultra thin electronic devices that can be applied to someone’s biological skin and perform a variety of functions. Materials scientist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and prominent electronic skin researcher John Rogers stated “the goal is really to blur the distinction between electronics and biological tissue.”

While this technology has been in development as early as 2011, some significant strides have been made lately.

Originally, the electronic skin was fairly noticeable and functioned more as a visible patch over the skin.

wearable electronics

Photo courtesy John Rogers

In 2013, Rogers’ lab found they could apply the wearable electronics without the previously used elastomer backing, transforming the biotechnology into an electronic tattoo. These “e-tattoos” are being developed to sense and measure hydration levels, heartbeat, respiration, temperature, and blood oxygenation.

e-tattoo

These scientists are building mind-blowing sci-fi devices! One day you will be able to apply a temporary tattoo to your skin that measures all the metrics your Fitbit can detect and more!

electronic skin

Enter the latest biotech news. Just days ago, a report was released by researchers from the University of Tokyo outlining the capabilities of an ultraflexible, organic, photonic skin they have finished developing.

Skin-ultra-thin displays

Photo courtesy The University of Tokyo, Someya Group Organic Transistor Lab

Thinner than our own skin, this clear film contains quantum-dot light-emitting diodes (QLEDs), health monitoring sensors, and digital displays. In addition, while previous ultra-thin displays could only last a few hours once exposed to air, this device lasts for several days. This combination of wearable bio-sensors and independent displays will change the meaning of “mobile health monitoring.”

ultraflexible-organic-photonic-skin

Photo courtesy The University of Tokyo, Someya Group Organic Transistor Lab

Can you imagine having access to your vital signs and other important health metrics, without needing to implant anything into your body or wait for a blood test? Being able to view this data in real time will allow us to quickly make better decisions and optimize our lifestyle, workouts, and routines.

These fitness wearables on steroids may be available sooner than you think. John Rogers’ biotech startup, MC10, is already selling packs of their Biostamp wearable health sensors to hospitals and research centers. These 6 x 3 cm stickers connect to a computer, tablet, or phone through Bluetooth and are waterproof up to 1m.

Biostamp-wearable-health-sensors

Photo courtesy MC10

While the price is too restrictive for the private sector yet ($2,500 for 3 sensors), there are multiple universities and for-profit companies developing this type of biotech and it is only a matter of time before it shows up at your nearest Best Buy.

 

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