Color-Changing Tattoos Can Monitor Your Health

Tattoos are very cool and becoming more popular. They could be used for practical applications such as tracking blood alcohol levels in the body or turning the skin into a touchscreen.

Now, the team of researchers from Harvard and MIT has developed smart tattoo ink that could monitor a wearer’s health and change color as a result. For example, if a user is dehydrated then the color of the ink will change.

Bodily biomarkers can be monitor through wearable monitoring devices, but due to their short battery life concern and the need for wireless connectivity it can be problematic. Harvard and MIT’s bio sensitive inks works of simple chemicals reactions as it doesn’t require power for transmission or data processing.

These inks interact with the body’s interstitial fluid, which carries nutrients into cells and waste out of them.

The inks can be incorporated into permanent or temporary tattoos for chronic conditions and for shorter-duration monitoring respectively.

The researchers said that ink can also be invisible under the particular light. That light could come from a smartphone. The researchers are working on the ink’s staying power improvement. The team is looking for an opportunity for tattoos that can monitor the body over both short and long time periods considering the needs of the patient.

This is an alternative and comfortable solution to track your health if you are tired of tying devices to your arms or wrists.

The study was presented at the 2017 ACM International Symposium on Wearable Computers.