If I could create a fantasy device that would change my life, and the lives of others, I would create a topical sensor that could measure a person’s level of hydration. Another way to say this might be to call it a “dehydration sensor” that sits on top of the skin. Dehydration is essentially an imbalance between sodium and water in blood. This tiny sensor could detect all three types of dehydration in a human:

1) hypotonic or hyponatremic (primarily a loss of electrolytes, sodium in particular),
2) hypertonic or hypernatremic (primarily a loss of water),
3) isotonic or isonatremic (equal loss of water and electrolytes).

The sensor would be so small that it could fit on the tip of a pin head. I would embed these tiny sensors in a rubberized wrist band that a person could wear on his/her body, i.e. the inside of the wrist band would be lined with several of these tiny sensors. The power for these sensors would be generated from the electrical energy on human skin. The sensors would evaluate a person’s state of hydration, and that analog information would be displayed on the top of the wrist band in a very simple graphic design — a water droplet. Similar to the iPhone’s battery charge display, the water droplet graphic would reflect in real-time a person’s current level of hydration. And by pressing on the water droplet, a person would be able to read his/her exact percentage of hydration.

The dehydration sensor bands would be available in customizable sizes and colors, easy to order for any person’s wrist according to centimeters + millimeters.

Dehydration Sensor Bands

This way, a person never has to worry or wonder if they have consumed enough water throughout the day, or if they are fully hydrated before doing a strenuous sports activity. In particular, these devices would serve the needs of elderly and sick persons, who are at high risk when dehydrated. Many common medical illnesses, such as congestive heart failure, liver failure, renal failure, and pneumonia are associated with dehydration, however if people had an innocuous and easy-to-use device to detect levels of hydration requiring little effort or thought to consume, they might stay more healthy throughout the day, and in general throughout the years.

**This idea was inspired by the fact that my husband doesn’t feel thirst very immediately and he frequently forgets to drink enough water; this condition causes him to become very dehydrated without realizing it. I also gave a lot of thought to the notion of a ‘dehydration sensor’ this past summer, when I was a caretaker for my Grandma who is a lymphoma patient, and for my mother-in-law, Pamela, who broke her femur bone and was bed-ridden for three weeks.

Research is ongoing in this area of bio-sensing and analysis. Here’s one article that I found on the subject: Bio-sensing article, by Deirdre Morris


13 Responses to “Dehydration Sensor Bands”  

  1. 1 chintz

    OMG-I think this would be the coolest thing ever! Not only would it benefit the every day jogger, aerobic exerciser or hiker enthusiast, but even more exciting, it could save lives in remote parts of the world by identifying critical states of dehydration and raising human awareness of the fixable problem of getting water to the deprived.
    Can I have one in purple please?
    bigchz

  2. 2 chintz

    also would really benefit the elderly or handicapped. I’ve done a lot of work with the elderly and it’s one of my biggest concerns.
    bigchz

  3. 3 suzkita

    Yes, absolutely. I imagine that these bands would be extremely valuable in our world where humanity faces water shortage threats and, ultimately, when we all face a global water crisis. I believe that water shortages (clean, affordable water) will be the world’s most pressing problem in the next few decades.

  4. 4 Stefan

    Hi there

    I came up with this exact idea after a Business innovation workshop, when I came across a sweaty athlete. It immediately struck me as I’m an Honours student in the study of Exercise and sport Science that this could actually work if one had the resources, but I’m working on that still. Mines also to do with a wrist band but I am tho working on a totally new way of detecting dehydration through the wrist band. Let me know how you are progressing with your idea. I’d love to know :)

  5. 5 suzkita

    Hi! I’ve had many recent inquiries from interested parties, primarily innovators and entrepreneurs, about this project, and am glad to know others are thinking along the same lines. I will contact you offline for more discussion.

  6. 6 Lou

    Hello,
    I am part of a University group of mechanical engineers completing a project on sensors and we have come up with a design VERY similar to yours; a skin moisture detecting device.
    I was wondering if you could send me an email offline, as we are interested in knowing more about your design :)
    Thanks
    Lou

  7. 7 niall hobbert

    hi Suz,

    Where can I buy these as im in Ireland ?

    Niall

  8. 8 Emmanuele

    Can I have an update about this? I’m very interested as investor, advisor and entrepreneur.
    Thank you

  9. 9 Dave

    Awsome Idea. I have been thinking about a gadget like this for a while and lo and behold there are some folks out there thinking of it also :-). Did you get anywhere with development / research. Would love to know how you are progressing.

    Dave

  10. 10 kevin mulvihill

    wife suffers from dehydration (chronically) and plays tennis……I’ve researched a bit but can’t find a product (wristband) that might detect she needs to hydrate….any input please? Thx

  11. 11 Dennis Kung

    Hi, I have two business opportunities linkage with Australia and China markets for wearable devices with hydration detection as an important feature.

    I am willing to work with you for any possible forms of partnerships for this product introduction.

    Hanson Tech is a design-manufacturing company with offices in Shanghai and Taipei.

    Thanks.

    Dennis Kung


    Hanson Technology Limited
    Mobile: 86-13817365525

  12. 12 Kev

    Is this actually going to come to fruition ‘n if so, when/where????

  13. 13 manish

    Dear Suz,
    We have a project where we would be requiring such bands along with heartbeat monitor and GPS tracker to transmit location and this data using telecom data Micro SIM.
    Should you have any such solution then please let me know i would be interested in discussing its commercialization.
    look forward to hearing from you soon.
    Regards,
    Manish

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