“Right now, we’re completely reactive. We wait for bad things to happen and we try to catch up. I think the opportunity here is to be able to get in front of the condition — in front of the disease — using biomarkers in sweat. And then hopefully reducing the pain and suffering that’s caused by this condition,” he says.
This isn’t the first wearable device that Dr. Xu has researched or helped to develop. He was among the developers of a UV sensor that tells wearers how much UV they’re getting. That technology is available at Apple stores worldwide through L’Oréal.
“It’s the world’s first battery-free sun powered sensor for UV. It helps people stay safe in the sun,” says Dr. Xu. “That product is one example of a wearable that certainly has permeated dermatology.”
L’Oréal and Epicore Biosystems introduced My Skin Track pH earlier in 2019. My Skin Track pH combines Epicore Biosystems’ wearable microfluidic sensor technology with L’Oréal’s expertise in skin care. It measures personal skin pH levels and creates customized skin care regimens and product recommendations.
“That’s pretty exciting and that has relevance obviously to patients with atopic dermatitis because it is a good marker of skin barrier function,” says Dr. Xu. “New technologies are coming online and measuring useful things. They’re affordable and applicable to a wide variety of skin conditions.