Dehydration is a significant problem with 75% of Americans being dehydrated daily. If misdiagnosed and left untreated, dehydration can quickly have negative effects on physical and cognitive performance, as well as intensify chronic diseases. Treatments for dehydration may cost up to 5 billion dollars annually. It is imperative that the number of patients developing dehydration in the hospital be decreased to save patients money and allow nurses to spend more time assessing other illnesses or injuries. Hospital staff face challenges in assessing dehydration upon patient evaluation, which can lead to negative effects on physical and cognitive performance. Current methods lack a simple, effective, and accurate method to measure hydration. There is a need for healthcare workers to be able to rapidly and accurately measure the level of hydration in patients.
The Hydrostat implements a negative pressure force to cause an elastic deformation of the skin, which is quantified in terms of distance and time to generate skin elasticity measurements. It is composed of a robust and lightweight shell that houses its components such as the compact electric air pump, LIDAR sensor, and microcontroller. This proposed device aims to quantify the already widely used skin turgor test as a way of routinely assessing patient hydration status.