Is Sweat the Future of Health Monitoring?
Even as you read this, your body is working to maintain balance – and not just in the "don't fall over" sense. Hordes of chemical reactions are happening inside you, producing energy, processing waste, and keeping you healthy. Along the way, your body is releasing signals about your well-being. Wearable technology can reveal some of those signals, like heart rate or sleep cycles. Many more important clues about your health are evident in the blood. The problem: Most people don't like to be stuck by a needle. (Just ask anyone with diabetes who's had to prick their finger a dozen times a day.)
@udipta Perspiration has intrigued scientists for centuries. As far back as the second century AD, Galen – a prominent Greek doctor in the Roman Empire – explored whether people could sweat body fat from their pores or detox their blood by sweating. While fat tissue won't seep out of your pores, other substances will. Sweat is 99% water but contains small amounts of sodium, chloride, lactate, glucose, cortisol, ammonia, urea, ethanol, and small proteins. Sweat may also hold trace amounts of chemicals and toxins, such as heavy metals and bisphenol A (BPA), but only if they were present in the blood. (Everts once reported a rare case when a nurse's sweat turned red from eating enormous amounts of chips with red dye). There is a strong link between the level of alcohol in your blood and the amount found in your sweat.
Beginning in 2003, what's known as SCRAM CAMs (which stands for SCRAM Continuous Alcohol Monitoring) were created to help police and courts with continuous alcohol monitoring of high-risk DUI offenders and domestic violence cases.
It's like having a breathalyzer attached to your ankle, always looking for alcohol in your sweat.