The idea that getting a tattoo is just a fashionable way to express yourself is all about to change. Scientists are now working on something they are calling smart tattoos that can tell the wearer valuable information about their health like when they are getting dehydrated or blood sugar levels are dropping.
Engadget reports about the smart tattoos containing special ink that reacts and changes color while monitoring hydration levels and glucose. Folks over at Harvard and MIT are creating special tattoo ink that reacts with the chemical composition of your intestinal fluid. The ink changes its color when the state of your blood changes. The idea is that people like athletes and diabetics can have a fail safe method of monitoring their health and taking proactive measures to stay well. For instance, a pale green tattoo may turn dark green when signs of dehydration begin to occur in the blood. And when a diabetic's blood sugar begins to get low, that same green tattoo may turn brown.
The project is still in its beginning stages, but the smart tattoos will probably not be permanenet like regular tattoos. And for those who are not keen on everyone knowing the state of the blood sugar, smart tattoos may be invisible unless exposed to different kinds of light. Experts hope that by outfitting patients with these smart tattoos, they will prove more reliable than other devices that depend on batteries and people to remember to wear them.
What do you think of smart tattoos?
Would you consider sporting one of these if you needed to keep track of your health?
How are they making real tattoos that aren't permanent? That's my biggest question. I think this has good intentions, but so many things could go wrong with it too. People could be allergic to something in the ink. The "invisible" ones, how would that even work? Would they have to carry around a black light or whatever everywhere they go? I know it said its in the beginning stages and I really want to see where it goes, but I'm also quite skeptical.