A Melbourne-based start-up called Nutromics is working on the world’s first nutrition wearable. It assesses dietary biomarkers to help users manage conditions such as Type-2 diabetes.
Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets
The whole thing is a great sounding concept. The device consists of an advanced sensing platform combined with a patch made of stretchable electronics that adheres to the skin. From there it collects biomarkers at a molecular level that reflect nutritional status and sends this information to the accompanying smartphone app. The algorithms sift through the information and spit out advice on dietary modifications.
The wearable is designed as a warning sign of lifestyle-related diseases for which pre-diabetes is an indicator. This is when your blood sugar is elevated, but not high enough for a doctor to diagnose diabetes. Incredibly, statistics show that around 88 million or nearly half of Americans have pre-diabetes. Globally the figure rises above 350 million.
The wearable could also be useful for managing Type-2 diabetes. This is when your body is unable to use insulin effectively to lower blood sugar levels. Nutrition is very important for managing the illness.
The yet-to-be-named gizmo could also have other uses. This could be anything from stress management, to sports performance, as an indicator of viral infection and more. The possibilities are enormous.
They say you are what you eat and that is very true. But the food we ingest effects each of us uniquely. You and I may have the same meal but how that food is used by our body is different. Hence the patch. It would stick to your skin to assess the effects of diet on your personal nutritional levels and advise you accordingly. With information on dietary biomarkers readily at your tip, you could make much smarter choices on staying healthy and fit.
“People want to make healthy food choices, but with so much conflicting nutrition advice, many of us are confused about what that looks like,” said Nutromics co-CEO Peter Vranes.
“Being able to monitor key dietary biomarkers easily will give you the knowledge to personalize your diet to suit your own body, to get healthy, and stay healthy”.
We’ve all become accustomed to seeing fitness trackers that count steps, distance, floors climbed, monitor sleep, heart rate and more. There’s nothing new about that any more. As far as nutrition the functionality stops at attempting to estimate calories burned. But this is just a rough estimate. None of the wearables can monitor your health at a molecular level. A mass-produced, cost effective device capable of assessing the effects of diet on your body would be a game-changer.
Everything is still in research phase and many challenges will need to be overcome before going to manufacturing. Nutromics is working with RMIT University, Griffith University, medical device manufacturer Romar Engineering, and Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (IMCRC) on sensor integration, stretchable electronics fabrication and other things that will need to be done before going to large-scale production.
“We’ve brought together a multi-disciplinary team of partners who are leaders in their fields to deliver Australian-made health technology that’s personalized and powerful.” Vranes adds.
Source: News Medical
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