I think it is safe to say that any human on the planet wishes they had the ability to track their health in real-time. And technology has made incredible strides in the healthcare sector, allowing us to get even closer to this reality. Smartwatches can track our calorie count, heart rate and give us updates on our overall fitness and health. And while that technology is a breakthrough in itself, one of the more fascinating methods of tracking health comes in the form of a tattoo.
According to a report from Futurism, researchers at both Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard Medical School have created an ingenious method of tracking health in real-time: tattoo ink. Dubbed the “DermalAbyss project,” the tattoo ink, which is a specially devised compound that interacts with interstitial fluid, is used to etch a tattoo into the human body. Afterwards, the ink can react to certain chemicals in the body and change color based on its findings. For example, for anybody monitoring their pH levels, their tattoo would initially be a pink color, and if their levels changed, the color would transform to purple.
Although the researchers state that it is not currently being tested for clinical use, this is certainly a major breakthrough in biotech. Humans who need to monitor their body’s changing levels for whatever reason can now do so without any manual work. The researchers believe that this technology can be applied in a variety of ways in the future, should it be publicly released; anything from data encoding to medical diagnostics are possible applications.
For those interested in the concept, but concerned about the artistic value of the project can rest assured; the ink can be used normally just as any other would, and can be used in any type of design imagined.
It is incredibly exciting to see advancements such as these in biotech. This kind of technology can play a crucial part in eliminating intrusive, and often times painful, methods of health monitoring. Hopefully the scientists will be able to take the ink to clinical trials and bring it to market.