Tattoo is a taboo for many. But, when this taboo finds a place in healthcare sector how are we going to react-be joyous, shameful, angry or unhappy?
Sports and health wearables have become a thing of the past now. Although useful, these wearables can never become a part of our body, have a short battery life and there is also this need for wireless connectivity. To overcome these obstacles, researchers have come up with another uber-cool idea that is surely going to make next-gen kids fall in love with it-integrating traditional tattoo artistry to indicate health conditions of an athlete during practice/performance.
The seed for thought was biosensors. Researchers developed biosensitive inks that could be used for the tattoo and thereby, nail down biosensors into the skin. The ink changes color depending on the body’s interstitial fluids, that can be used as a surrogate for blood constituents. For instance, green ink changes to brown color if the glucose concentration increases. The researchers have also developed a green ink that can be viewed under blue light and whose brightness increases as sodium concentration rises, thereby indicating dehydration.
The research is still in the initial stages and further probing can help unveil a lot more applications of this biologically-sensitive ink. Chronic conditions can be treated effectively by infusing them into permanent tattoos and shorter-duration monitoring is also feasible by injecting this ink into temporary tattoos. Maybe, even invisible ink can be used that reacts to some distinct light form. Signs and symptoms of chronic conditions and their associated treatment procedures are available at www.firsteatright.com.
While the public is the ultimate target audience, astronauts can also benefit from this research as they too require continuous health monitoring. This smart ink on the tattoo helps to monitor an athlete’s health condition by the color change that guides or serves to notify the athlete that his/her hydration levels are low or a diabetic when blood sugar levels rise.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.