The quantified self movement has resulted in a wide range of gadgets designed to tell you exactly how hard you're pushing it in the gym. But the accuracy and efficacy of some of these tools is something that remains in question. A new tool now promises to give workout fanatics exact readouts on how effective their workouts really are.
Developed by a team of researchers from Japan's NTT Docomo, the system relies upon a portable breath acetone analyzer that can tell the user when the body is actually breaking down fat. The readings are sent to an app on a Bluetooth-connected Android device displaying accurate readings within 10 seconds. To prove the accuracy of the system, the researchers used 17 healthy adult volunteers considered overweight in terms of body mass indexes and put them through a 14-day battery of jogging and walking tests.
The research team believes the system could also be used to monitor potential diabetic symptoms. One of the research team members said, "when diabetes is out of control, patients have elevated levels of breath acetone. It is possible that our prototype could be used to assess how diabetic control is being managed at home."
There's no word on when or if this will become a commercial product, but the research itself is a good indication that the quantified self movement is continuing to develop ever more consumer-grade, credible tools to help us maintain our health. The results were published in this week's Journal of Breath Research.