GraphWear Technologies is piloting its sweat assessment wearable patch with a professional football team. The pilot involves tracking glucose and electrolyte levels by analyzing users’ sweat. The greater goal is to keep users hydrated and provide a way of alerting athletes when they need to replenish their liquids.
The wearables business is part of the Philadelphia-based University City Science Center’s Digital Health Accelerator and previously took part in Dreamit Ventures’ program. GraphWear Technologies CEO Rajatesh Gudibande said the pilot would use the hydration patch as part of athletic performance.
In May next year, GraphWear plans to launch a beta test of the wearable targeted at athletes and hopes to go to market in 2018. Also on GraphWear’s to-do list is the development of a wearable to track glucose levels through sweat. This wearable geared to diabetes patients would be considered a Class 2 medical device. Gudibande said the long-term goal is for the product to be ready for market in the third quarter of 2019.
“Athletic teams will help us validate the technology, but we also need to gather more robust data,” Guidbande said.
Gudibande noted that the company had secured partnerships with a big pharma company to monitor the effects of drugs business relocated from Philadelphia to San Francisco to participate in Johnson & Johnson’s collaboration with the Plug and Play Tech Center incubator there.
Using sweat to monitor health is a significant area of interest in medtech, especially for companies such as Eccrine Systems, Neumitra, and Electrozyme. Although blood tests remain the gold standard for accuracy because the content of sweat varies and can be influenced by microbes on the skin, an article in Nature noted, sweat sensors offer a more practical way to get a read of assessing health moment by moment.