Following trend of integrating wellness and technology, researchers at Harvard and MIT have developed a new, compact product to replace fitness trackers – smart tattoos. From wearable fitbits to self powered smart patches, most vital trackers have so far all required some sort of upkeep, were clumsy and relied on a stable wireless connection. The smart tattoo is based on ink which chemically reacts to various fluids in the skin that act as markers of your vital signs, and changes colors accordingly. Furthermore, the tattoos will not neccesarily be permanent, and the ink can be set to degrade in a certain period of time. The technology promises big advancement in the fields of fitness and medicine.
In fitness, the smart tattoo could replace various vital tracking devices. Since nothing has to be worn, it allows for more freedom of movement, and since it is implanted in the skin it can track things such as blood glucose levels which are not so easy to track with wearable devices. Glucose levels can be especially important for athletes, as keeping them at a particular level can increase the efficiency of exercise and minimize exhaustion.
In medicine the smart tattoo seems as a promising alternative for diabetics. So far, checking blood glucose levels has been a nuisance requiring blood, which many find painful and annoying. With the new ink patients could have a permanent tracker on. The technology can also track heart rate, and thus opens new management pathways for heart disease sufferers.
In conclusion, the smart tattoo is an innovative technology with wide application in fitness and medicine. It may allow athletes for higher performance due to more precise measurements and its compactness. The technology also promises higher living standards for those living with diabetes and heart disease, by removing certain uncomfortable measuring devices from their life.