Abbott is working on ‘biowearables’ to measure glucose, lactate and ketones

Health tech company Abbott is working on “biowearable” devices to track certain elements of the body, with the idea that they will give users more insight into their general health and help them take action. The Lingo devices will measure glucose, ketones and lactate and eventually they can monitor the alcohol content.

“This will be like having a window into your body,” Abbott CEO Robert B. Ford said at CES. “It’s science that you can access at any time so you can understand what your body is telling you and what it needs.”

Abbott is a name you may already know. It is the maker of the highly sought-after BinaxNOW rapid COVID-19 tests. It’s also behind the Freestyle Livre, one of the more popular continuous glucose meters that eliminates the need for fingerstick blood tests.

The upcoming non-medical biowearables build on the sensor technology Abbott has developed for Freestyle Livre. Athletes use a version of the device to optimize their food intake for their training and competition. With Lingo, the company plans to expand glucose monitoring use cases to help the public manage things like sleep, weight and energy levels.

The purpose of the ketone biowearable is to continuously track ketones so that wearers can see how quickly they enter ketosis. That’s a state where a body doesn’t have enough carbohydrates to convert into energy and instead burns fat (and generates ketones). With the lactate wearable, Abbott’s goal is to continuously measure lactate build-up during exercise. It says this can provide insight into athletic performance.

It will be some time before Abbott can bring this technology to the consumer market. If and when the biowearables arrive and they work as promised, they should help those interested in closely monitoring the condition of their bodies to do so.

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