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Bring on The Living Tattoo

  • February 21, 2018
  • RPh on the Go

tattoo materials wearable deviceWearables for health tracking is becoming a hot item these days and it looks like we could see “living” tattoos becoming the latest trend to hit markets. What are they? How can they be used? What is the impact on the pharmacy industry? Today, we dive deeper into this potential new product and what is in store for major medical changes.

The Living Tattoo Is Not Your Traditional Tattoo

When we think of tattoos, we think of permanent artwork etched into the epidermis with slim needles. The living tattoo is not the same thing. It’s a patch that goes on to the body and responds to stimuli within the body. Made up of a new type of ink that is mixed with genetically programmed cells and when it responds to stimuli, it lights up. The beautiful part about it is that it looks like a tree with branches of different colors.

The Potential Benefits

We have devices that can track our sleep, count our steps, monitor our blood sugar levels, and check our blood pressure. We are also seeing the rise in pills that track how we take them, when we take them, and their efficacy. This tattoo has all these same potential benefits and then some. Imagine the ability to be alerted quicker regarding possible major illness setting in. We could see patients who can know they have the flu days sooner, we could be alerted of issues with arteries and veins quicker than our current methods. It essentially means we can monitor our health to a point in which we are diagnosed earlier, treated sooner, and recover quicker.

Why Do We Need This Wearable Over All Others?

This device is still being worked on and tweaked due to the fragile nature of our human cells. If we are successful in being able to create this for use amongst patients, it can keep a person from needing multiple devices. We imagine that we won’t see this device for at least a decade as it’s tweaked and perfected, but knowing that it’s on the horizon is exciting.

The Great Impact

The impact on pharmacists will be more of the benefit rather than seeing fewer medicines and treatments. It will mean that we can assist our patients faster in treatment and the continuous encouragement for folks to stay on top of their health. When new technology comes on the market, people fall into two camps. They either embrace it fully because they are fascinated by the idea or they reject it because they are scared of the change. When it comes to pharmaceutical companies, they may feel the pressure to create meds at a quicker rate to keep up with the change as well as pushing research forward to stay on top of major illnesses. Companies that currently manufacture wearables may feel the most pinch. We believe they will still stay on the market for years to come because they will find innovative ways to stay in the wearables market.

How do you feel about a potential new wearable that is interesting to look at and does more than other wearables? Do you have concerns or ideas for how these can be used successfully? Tell us by commenting below!

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