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 one’s body, with the idea that they’ll provide users with more insights about their general health and help them take action. The Lingo devices will measure glucose, ketones and lactate, and eventually they may be able to monitor alcohol levels.

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

Abbott is a name you may already be familiar with. It’s 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 monitors that negates the need for finger stick blood testing.

The upcoming biowearables, which aren't intended for medical use, build on the sensing tech Abbott developed for Freestyle Livre. Athletes are using a version of the device to help optimize their food intake for their training and competition. With Lingo, the company is planning to expand glucose monitoring use cases to help the public manage things like sleep, weight and energy levels.

The aim of the ketone biowearable is to offer continuous tracking of ketones so that wearers can see how quickly they get into ketosis. That's a state in which a body doesn't have enough carbohydrates to turn into energy and instead burns fat (and generates ketones). With the lactate wearable, Abbott's goal is to continuously measure lactate build up while working out. It says that can provide insights on athletic performance.

It'll be some time before Abbott can bring this tech to the consumer market. If and when the biowearables do arrive and they work as promised, they should help those interested in keeping close tabs on the condition of their body to do so.

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