Combining technology and health monitoring is by no means a new concept. It started with basic pedometers several decades ago, which were more recently integrated into personal electronic devices like iPods and smartphones. Today, countless mobile applications tracking everything from calories and weight loss to workouts and sleep cycles are available to the health-conscious, and they show no signs of decreasing in popularity.
With so many health tracking apps and devices out there, it might seem crazy for a new tech startup founded by three engineering graduates to try to break into the market. But Abhi Jayakumar, CEO of Ontario, Canada-based AIRO Health, realized that the product he and his co-founders had spent more than a year creating had the potential to revolutionize wearable health technology. While most apps track just one aspect of health, the AIRO wristband monitors nutrition, stress, exercise and sleep patterns all at once, the company said.
"Activity trackers are not health monitors," Jayakumar told BusinessNewsDaily. "If people want to become and live healthier, they need a device that focuses on their overall health. AIRO goes the whole nine yards and covers the core pillars of personal health to improve self-awareness and help people change their habits."
The AIRO wristband, which was announced and became available for pre-order on Oct. 28, features an aluminum unibody design and uses a combination of technologies to collect, analyze and communicate data to the wearer's smartphone. The company claims the wristband uses wavelengths of light to detect metabolites in the bloodstream during and after a meal to track nutrition.
Stress is monitored through heart rate variability, and similarly tracks exercise through heart rate and caloric burn, the company said. Sleep cycles are tracked through technology that looks at the nervous system. As all of this information is processed, AIRO provides recommendations for improvement in each of the four tracking areas.
Of all the functions the AIRO wristband performs, Jayakumar believes that nutrition tracking is the biggest problem his company's product solves. Current nutrition trackers like weight loss apps and calorie counters with manual inputs can be time-consuming, he said. AIRO eliminates this work by passively measuring calorie intake and even the quality of meals consumed.
Jayakumar told BusinessNewsDaily that the most challenging part of the development process was not any of the technological aspects, but simply proving to potential customers that it worked.
"It was hard convincing people that technology really is this advanced and can be tailored to your body," he said. "We're excited to give consumers the ability to monitor their wellbeing in a way that has never before been possible."
AIRO is available for pre-order on the company's website for $149 and will ship in the fall of 2014.
Related on BusinessNewsDaily and MNN: