Monitoring metabolic energy expenditure, health, and fitness with a breath analyzer

Thursday, July 27, 2017 - 16:02 in Biology & Nature

The U.S. military has great interest in more comprehensive measurement and tracking of metabolism, both for optimizing the performance of warfighters under demanding physical conditions and for maintaining the health and wellness of forces during and after their military careers. While sensors for making metabolic measurements have existed for decades, they are expensive, cumbersome instruments primarily intended for clinical or professional use. MIT Lincoln Laboratory, in collaboration with the U.S. Army Research Institute for Environmental Medicine (USARIEM), has undertaken a research effort to create a low-cost personal metabolic sensor and an associated metabolic fuel model. The Carbon dioxide/Oxygen Breath and Respiration Analyzer (COBRA) enables individuals to make on-demand metabolic measurements simply by breathing into it. “Besides assessing performance of soldiers in the field, the COBRA can be applied to broader purposes, such as training athletes for high-endurance activities, guiding weight loss by quantifying the impact of dietary and exercise regimens, or...

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