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IIT Gandhinagar students Praveen Venkatesh (L) and Chris Francis pose for photographs with their dinning assistant device "FoodBuddy" in Gandhinagar. (Photo: PTI)

Two IIT students have developed an easy-to-wear wrist band that monitors the water level in the human body and warns its users against dehydration.

Named “Hydro Check”, it uses sensors to monitor pulse rate, body temperature, ambient temperature and bioelectrical impedance. Bioelectrical impedance analysis is a commonly used method to estimate body composition, particularly body fat and muscle mass.

“All these parameters are related to the hydration level of the human body,” said Geetika Sonke, a chemical engineering student at IIT-Guwahati.

IIT-Goa’s Priyanka Arora said people do not drink enough water in their busy lives. “Drinking water is never on our priority list and not drinking water can cause dehydration. Currently, there are no device in the market that could measure hydration levels of the human body over a day,” Arora said.

Existing solutions include mobile applications that track hydration levels, she explained. “But users have to manually enter the volume of water they consume every time they drink water. Another alternative is a hydration monitoring patch based on sweat sensing technology. It is costly and works only when there’s sweat on skin,” she added.

The device the two Indian Institute of Technology students developed uses an algorithm that computes all the sensor data to generate a dynamic score as an indicator of hydration.

If a user is in a hot environment for a long time then the device calculates that the need of water by body is high. If long time has passed in a hot environment and no drinking gesture is detected then the hydration score changes and the user is reminded to drink water.

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The device also uses motion sensors to detect a pattern characterised by drinking (such as eating, walking, smoking).

The two students showed their product at “Invent@IITGN”, a six-week annual summer programme at IIT-Gandhinagar. In its second year, the programme is based on the “Invention Factory” event in the US. They have filed a claim to get a patent for the device. PTI GJS GJS

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