Could Tattoos Revolutionize Healthcare?

For the past few years, health monitoring devices have been hot on the market. Harvard and MIT researchers may have just changed the entire game of wearable health monitoring. The smart tattoo ink that these researchers have developed is capable of changing color in response to an athlete being dehydrated or a diabetic if his or her blood sugar rises.


The new smart ink was inspired by current limitations of biomedical monitoring devices. “We were thinking: New technologies, what is the next generation after wearables?” said Ali Yetisen, who is a Tosteson postdoctoral fellow at HMS and Massachusetts General Hospital. “And so we came up with the idea that we could incorporate biosensors in the skin.”


With the new color based interface of the biosensitive tattoo ink, battery life is not a concern and there is no need to worry about wireless connectivity. In the field of wearable health monitoring, this is revolutionary.


The implications of this could go well beyond dehydration and blood sugar. Imagine a tattoo with various branches monitoring your sodium, vitamin D levels, or any biomarker you are interested in continuously monitoring. The future of healthcare may be more artistic than we’d ever imagined.


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