Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Sweati demonstrates threefold potential of sweat wearable

Steve Rogerson
April 16, 2019

UK wearable patch start-up Sweati, in collaboration with research partner Imperial College London, has demonstrated that it is possible to measure continuously concentrations of glucose, lactate and hydration using multiple ions in sweat.
These findings, says Sweati, make it the only brand to measure three biomarkers continuously, giving the user a complete holistic view of the biomarkers that affect performance
This is the second study from the owners of Sweati, following on from the first study that proved ions could be measured in sweat. The study is said to change the landscape of glucose, lactate and hydration measurement.
A successful sweat monitoring device for glucose, lactate and hydration would mean that diabetics no longer need to use invasive or minimally invasive devices that break the skin surface to measure glucose. Users could get continuous readings and, unlike interstitial fluid measurement devices (the most recent glucose measurement advancement), the time lag of sweat to blood is approximately three times less.
The device will be small enough to fit into the palm of a hand, the thickness of two credit cards, disposable and made of fabric for a contoured fit. It will measure low volumes of sweat to ensure data are recorded when the user isn’t partaking in strenuous activity. Results will then be fed wirelessly to an app that will give the user all the relevant information on lactate, glucose and hydration.
Analysis will be given every ten seconds with the outcome delivering real-time data to users with enough time for performance tactics and the user’s current physical state to be managed and altered.
Trials have been arranged with several high-profile sports teams as well as elements of the US and UK military. Multiple patents have been filed.
“Imagine a device that will be able to tell you when to fuel, when to hydrate and what pace to run at,” said James Mayo, founder and CEO of Sweati. “That means no more hitting the dreaded wall while running a marathon. Sweati will make working out enjoyable and efficient. For diabetics, it would mean no more blood draws interrupting their day as the patch will continuously send them notifications. Every member of society will be able to maximise their personal performance but, crucially for members of the military, we have the ability to save lives with no more heat casualties.”
The wellness market will be worth an estimated $3bn by 2025 with sweat measurement taking up a quarter of that. With Sweati complementing Apple Health and other sports heart rate and step trackers, it could make up a significant portion of that market.
“Sweat measurement is the final frontier in body sensing technology,” said Mayo. “The opportunity to measure non-invasively without a needle and continuously in an environment where the consumer wants more and more information is enormous. This can be seen by L'Oréal winning best wearable monitor at CES 2019.”
The market size for glucose monitoring for diabetics is expected to top $11.4bn by 2023.
Initially, Sweati will be targeting the wellness and military markets, while it gathers more data to support its FDA MHRA application for a diabetic medical monitor.
"This work harnesses the latest in microfluidics and chip technology to monitor sweat in real time, providing a window into what's happening in the blood and tissue of the patch wearer without the need for invasive sampling,” said Martyn Boutelle, professor of biomedical sensors engineering in Imperial College's department of bioengineering. “The information provided will enable performance to be optimised and wellbeing to be safeguarded."