Researchers have developed a wearable device that can detect early signs of diseases caused by imbalances in stress hormones. This is the first time that changes in stress hormones can be measured as people go about their daily activities. The device, called U-RHYTHM, is worn around the waist and samples hormones painlessly every 20 minutes from beneath the skin. This method allows for sampling during sleep, work, and other daily activities for up to 72 hours. Previously, researchers could only measure stress hormone levels by taking multiple blood samples in a hospital or research unit, which was time-consuming and inconvenient. The new device has the potential to revolutionize the diagnosis and treatment of diseases related to stress hormones, such as depression, heart disease, and obesity. The data collected from the device was used to create adrenal hormone profiles of healthy individuals in real-life conditions. Mathematicians then used this data to develop “dynamic markers” to understand what a healthy hormonal profile should look like based on factors like age, sex, and body mass index. This research could lead to earlier diagnosis and personalized treatment for endocrine conditions.
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