With each iteration of the Apple Watch, new sensors and medical capabilities have been added to the company’s watch. The eye is fixed on the blood glucose sensor, but, in the meantime, Apple has developed a very interesting body hydration sensor.
A system based on the chemical properties of our sweat
The United States Patent Office once again reflects Apple’s curious invention. The patent entitled “Measuring hydration with a watch” includes a system that would allow the Apple Watch to know the hydration of our body thanks to a pair of electrodes in contact with our skin.
The patent begins by recognizing that traditional hydration monitoring techniques are invasive, expensive, or unreliable. Many of them require single-use tests and fluid samples. Apple’s system, however, is as “reliable and stylish” as a pair of electrodes in contact with the skin.
By measuring the electrical properties of the sweat that the Apple Watch comes in contact with, the hydration of the body can be determined. Key information according to certain training sessions for example.
Electrical properties, such as electrical conductance, can represent a concentration of electrolytes in sweat, which in turn represents a level of hydration for the user. For example, a high level of electrical conductance from perspiration can indicate a high concentration of electrolytes and a low level of hydration. For example, a low level of electrical conductance from perspiration can indicate a low concentration of electrolytes and a high level of hydration.
A few electrodes, like those already present in the watch, are sufficient to take an ECG, to be able to know the degree of hydration.
Due to the nature of the system, hydration monitoring can be “performed repeatedly, efficiently and reliably without any user intervention.” According to the same patent, the information obtained can be used to give us feedback during training sessions and recommend drinking more or less water.
A user’s level of hydration has a significant impact on their health. Dehydration can affect performance and is associated with several negative health consequences, such as heat stroke. Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to hyponatremia, fatigue, confusion, coma, and even death.
The patent proposes that the electrodes needed for the sweat analysis be placed on the Apple Watch strap, although it is easy to imagine that they could also be installed on the sensor module of the watch itself. same. Recall, in fact, that Apple introduced similar electrodes to be able to perform ECGs, so it is not unreasonable to think that even this same configuration of electrodes can be used to analyze hydration.
As we’ve commented on on more than one occasion, the fact that Apple has filed for this patent doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll see this type of sensor materialize in the Apple Watch Series 7, but it does show the interest. growing business for health. . An interest that is manifested in the evolution of the Apple Watch that we see and from which we deduce that it is to come based on the patents that the company publishes regularly.
Image | Lloyd dirks