Thanks to smart watches we can control certain aspects of our health that can help us to have an indication before going to the doctor, and researchers have created an experimental watch that is capable of detecting the stress hormone in the sweat.
And it is that when someone is stressed, his body produces a hormone known as cortisol, so the higher the concentration of cortisol in the bloodstream, the higher the level of stress that a person has.
Although this concentration can be measured by analyzing blood samples, obviously this is not a quick and timely way to know our level of stress.
So they’ve created a smart watch that’s being developed at UCLA, by teams led by Prof. Anne Andrews and Assoc. Prof. Sam Emaminejad.
At the bottom of this watch is a thin adhesive film that is capable of using microfluidic channels to draw small amounts of sweat from the wearer’s skin. This sweat is then passed through a sensor containing engineered DNA strands called aptamers.
Then each cortisol molecule in the sweat attaches to the aptamer resulting in its shape change, altering the electric fields on the surface of an adjacent transistor.
With this, the microprocessor analyzes the fluctuations of these fields to determine the user’s current cortisol levels. Best of all, these levels are displayed on an LCD screen on the top surface of the watch.
Of course, since each person produces different amounts of cortisol, the clock would have to be calibrated initially in each of the users, establishing a baseline for their predetermined levels.
Once calibrated, the device can warn when the user is becoming dangerously stressed, and could also track their cortisol levels over time to see when and how often they experience elevated stress.