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This skin patch uses graphene and sweat to help diabetes sufferers

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Diabetes is one of the fastest growing health threats in the world and a new wearable wants to make monitoring the disease much easier.

Korean researchers have invented a patch that sits on the wrist of the sufferer to monitor blood levels using sweat. At the moment, sufferers have to take blood samples or wear a patch under the skin to keep on top of the disease.

This new patch is also capable of delivering the diabetes drug metformin through the skin with microneedles.

Hyunjae Lee, author of the study at Seoul National University, said: "Diabetics are reluctant to monitor their blood glucose levels because of the painful blood-gathering process.

"We highly focused on a noninvasive monitoring and therapy system for diabetics."

Sweat problems

The patch uses graphene to keep the wearable thin and flexible as well as capable of transmitting electricity. It has a variety of sensors on board that will monitor your sweat glucose levels, pH, temperature and your humidity.

There are still some issues to work through, as, in its current form, the patch may not be as effective on people who sweat a lot. It's also just an experimental idea for now, so don't expect it to hit the market anytime soon.

It sounds similar to GlucoWatch, a watch-like device that measured blood sugar levels, that was a financial failure. However, the patch is less intrusive, and that alone might help it to be more successful.


James Peckham

James is Senior Phones Editor for TechRadar, and he has covered smartphones for the best part of a decade bringing you news on all the big announcements from top manufacturers making mobile phones. James is often testing out and reviewing the latest and greatest mobile phones, smartwatches, tablets, virtual reality headsets, fitness trackers and more. He has also worked on other leading tech brands, such as T3 and Gizmodo UK, as well as appearing as an expert on TV and radio for the BBC and other publications. Be sure to follow him on Twitter for all the latest smartphone news.

James is currently most excited about the Samsung Galaxy S22, God of War: Ragnarok and the rumored foldable iPhone