What's the Latest Development?

By measuring the level of acetone gas in the breath, users of a new breathalyzer can tell if they are getting a good workout, helping to incentivize exercise and aid individuals in managing their diet. The device was created by researchers at Japan’s NTT Docomo, the country’s largest mobile-phone provider, and attaches to users' smartphone through a wire or Bluetooth and gives users an answer to their fat burning question in 10 seconds. "If the device is one day manufactured and sold, it would be quite useful for people trying to lose weight, says Samar Kundu, a senior scientist at Sword Diagnostics, a medical device maker."

What's the Big Idea? 

Using acetone gas as a metric for workout success is more effective than weight scales or body-fat measurements because it more accurately measures your fat-burning potential in the moment of activity. In addition to helping dieters, the device may also benefit diabetics. "Breath-acetone concentrations can be much higher in people with diabetes than in others because their cells cannot take up glucose from the blood. Their bodies instead burn fat for energy, causing the fruity breath odor that can be a telltale sign of the condition." An acetone breathalyzer could tell patients how effective their diabetes treatment is. 

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Read it at MIT Technology Review