April 12, 2024

The Wearable Device That Avoids Injuries Through Technology | The Tech Races

Published June 12, 2023, 3:20 a.m. by Courtney

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When exercising, the body produces lactic acid which causes pain and can generate muscle traumas. This wearable lactic acid monitor helps athletes avoid injuries. training intelligently without suffering injury is easier than ever thanks to new gadget.

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Welcome to the Tech Race.

Lactic acid is one of

an athlete's most dangerous enemies,

causing fatigue, pain and even loss of consciousness.

How do competitors control it?


Athletes measure the level of lactic acid

that their own body produces as they train

to avoid injuries and tachycardia.

Until now it was impossible to measure in real time.

This wearable device has finally made this possible

without a drop of blood.

What the Humon lets me do

is notice when I'm working too hard

and when I need to recover very fast.



In Boston, students

of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

have designed a new device

that wirelessly collects lactic acid data

as athletes train.

Lactic acid is basically something that is produced

again when the muscles don't have enough oxygen available

and it's produced and accumulates in the body

as you exert yourself harder and harder and harder.

Long periods of intense exercise

require more energy than oxygen alone can provide.

In the absence of oxygen, muscles produce lactic acid.

This can only be tolerated in small amounts

as it can be toxic in high doses.

This device is a real revolution.

Previously, the only way to measure lactic acid in the body

was using a blood sample.

So here I'm going to put this needle in his finger

so that we can extract a drop of blood.

It's a very quick process.

You click, he gets pricked

and now you can see there's a drop of blood coming out.

Keep your finger like this.

And then we're going to put the drop of blood in the machine.

The machine collects it

and then it's running its test which lasts ten seconds.

For the first time, athletes have real-time information

that enables them to avoid overexertion.

But how does this wearable device work?

This is the Humon alpha prototype.

It's a sensor that measures

the oxygen level in an athlete's muscles.

The way it does that is by using an optical sensor

which shines different colours of lights into the muscle

and then several sensors which then read

how much of that light is recorded at the sensor.

Based on the properties of that light and how it changes,

we can tell how much oxygen is in the muscle.

By taking advantage of spectrometry,

an LED light shines through the skin,

an optical sensor then examines the light that bounces back.

A small change in colour is provoked

when there is an increase in lactic acid

that is measureable by the device

and can warn the user to pause training.

It's really easy and simple to use.

All it takes is me to put on this wearable right here

and I push the on button.

This sends a signal via Bluetooth to my phone

where I just pair it by pushing a button

and then I tell the phone whether I'm running or cycling,

whether I'm indoors or outdoors

and then I'm on my way to start my workout.

As I'm running or cycling or working out,

all I need to do is check my phone.

History has gathered emotional moments

where high performance sports have almost defeated athletes.

Perhaps one of the most memorable examples

took place in the Olympic Games Los Angeles 1984.

The image of marathon runner Gabriela Andersen

pushing her limits to reach the finish line

still anguishes us today as much as it did then.

Scientists can reduce, even avoid, this suffering.

That's why this technology

is so relevant for athletes to identify their limits.

I think it's critical to have it in real time.

That way we can adjust and modify the workout

so that we're not essentially wasting that workout

or driving that athlete

into further overtraining or undertraining.

The consequences of an accumulation of lactic acid

can include heart failure, muscle weakness,

shortness of breath and, in extreme cases, coma.

This wearable device allows the user to control their training

and avoid an accumulation of lactic acid.

While you train, you create a deficit of oxygen

in the muscle and we can identify your body's limits.

We can also see how you warm up and how you recover.

We package this information into actionable insights,

available to the athlete in real time,

so you can optimise training every day when you train

and these are completely personalised recommendations,

depending on your own body.

The Humon allows us to train athletes

by taking a look at what's going on inside the muscle

at the muscle oxygen saturation levels.

It helps avoid overtraining

so we can see, based on how quickly

the muscle oxygen is returning to the muscle,

how quickly those percentages of SmO2 are increasing.

It really allows us to keep a keen eye

on how the athlete is recovering

and that recovery status allows us to prevent overtraining.

This development is a stride towards overcoming

the limitations of the human body.



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