May 03, 2009
Wearable Patch Will Count Calories Burned And Consumed
A wearable patch that you replace once a week monitors heart rate, respiration, body temperature, and other indicators to calculate your calorie consumption and burning rates. Then a cell phone or PC can get the information via Bluetooth and advise you about whether you need to eat less or exercise more.
The calorie monitor, which is being developed by biotech incubator PhiloMetron, uses a combination of sensors, electrodes, and accelerometers that--together with a unique algorithm--measure the number of calories eaten, the number of calories burned, and the net gain or loss over a 24-hour period. The patch sends this data via a Bluetooth wireless connection to a dieter's cell phone, where an application tracks the totals and provides support. "You missed your goal for today, but you can make it up tomorrow by taking a 15-minute walk or having a salad for dinner," it might suggest.
I have no idea how well this generation of device works. But it is a step in an inevitable direction. We will wear external sensors as patches and as sensor nets built into clothing, jewelry, and watches. Diabetics and heart patients can benefit from real time warnings. Athletes can get warnings of overheating and dehydration.
The monitoring systems will eventually get integrated with embedded drug releasing systems that will act much like endocrine organs adjusting our metabolism when it gets out of desirable operating ranges.
We need (and will soon see) real-time monitoring of a variety of markers, such as blood pressure, cholesterol levels, CRP, temperature, glucose level, vitamin levels, mineral levels, etc., etc. If, from childhood, we were able to track those 24/7 and feed the data by Bluetooth to analysis software, we could delay or avoid altogether degenerative diseases. Our diets would change to optimize our unique genomes and epigenomes. I'm first in line. No cuts.
My wife has a Bodybugg of the latest rev. It's much improved vs. the early attempts.
It's not as tiny as a patch, but it is a similar concept. She's really liked it; having real-time data is a lot easier than guessing. It turns out that, with her activity level and workout routine, she was undereating, which caused her to go into starvation mode. Her body nearly FORCED her to eat at that point, so she'd then eat too much. She's studied sports nutrition, and she was eating what looked like the right amount, calculated using the best information she could put together. It turns out that even such educated guesses can be pretty far off.
As result of using the monitor, she's been eating more (what might sound like too much), feeling better, and losing a few remaining pounds she couldn't take off while habitually eating less.
Interesting stuff. It's only going to get better, as long as the marketplace can drive innovation and the FDA doesn't try to regulate this and drive the price sky-high while slowing time-to-market to a human generation instead of a computer generation.
Excellent. Soon we will be able to monitor you lower class rednecks 24/7 and force you to eat, drink and exercise exactly as we tell you to, with strict punishments for transgressors. For your own good, of course.
Yeah waiting for personal social network of me to be created. Real-time data sent from patchs and sensors from around the body, automatically feed to web repository via mobile smart-phone, analysed, time graphed, compared and monitoring implemented from the web. You can see something like the http://www.visiblebody.com/ model being employed to feed it into a digital representation of me and my history.
Can the interpretative software be bypassed? My heart rate and other indicators used for this frankly interest me more than fuel-burned graphed to [assumed on an unknown basis] fuel intake.