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Lumen breathes life into nutrition planning and ‘hacking metabolism’


Digital health and wellness company Lumen has launched what is being presented as ‘the world’s first pocket-sized device for hacking metabolism in real-time’. Through a single breath, Lumen’s AI engine analyzes metabolism to determine whether users are burning carbs or fat for energy. In turn, the device and app combination provide immediate nutritional guidance and real-time insights based on that physiological data.

Lumen creates a daily personalized nutrition plan to help users lose weight, optimize workouts and reach their health and fitness goals. In beta testing since 2017, Lumen has already helped more than 300 beta testers lose an average of 6.8 pounds in 30 days.

Lumen is available now via a campaign on crowd-funding site Indiegogo, with pledge levels starting at the ‘Super Early Bird’ price of US$179, more than 40% off the retail price of US$299. The campaign began on July 17 and ends August 25.

How it works
With a goal of changing the way people approach their personal health, Lumen syncs with a free integrated iOS or Android app to translate metabolic data into actionable insights. The company notes that our bodies rely on two main sources of energy: carbs and fat, partnered to fuel our bodies, but shifting in ratio constantly… ‘Understanding that ratio is important for achieving nutritional and weight loss goals.’

With one breath, Lumen claims to provide this unique carb to fat ratio insight, providing tailored nutrition plans specifically for the body’s mechanics.

Each morning after taking a breath with the device, users immediately receive direction on how yesterday’s meals, sleep and activities affect today’s metabolism and impact fitness and weight loss goals. A specific daily goal for carb consumption is provided, along with recommended meal combinations, snacks, and even a ‘food search’ feature to determine the amount of carbs in any food, for users to stick to their plan.

Throughout the day, users can take additional breaths to stay on track, especially when determining whether they have enough stored energy for an effective workout, or what they need to do to reach their daily goal, like eating an energy-packed snack, or getting more sleep that night.

Lumen’s sleek and compact design fits in a purse or gym bag, for use on the go, at home or at work. Within the app, users can even submit pictures of their meals to Lumen nutritionists to get professional feedback on their food choices, helping users reach their individualized goals.

Lumen adds that the device and app bridge the gap between research and consumers by placing an emphasis on the education of users; not only providing what to do, but the why behind each action. The app interface and AI-driven technology adapts to an individual’s nutritional and behavioural patterns. In turn, Lumen teaches users about their bodies, carb vs fat burn and when it’s necessary to use each energy source for maximum results.

“Lumen has shown me a new way of thinking about nutrition and diet,” says Kim, a beta tester for more than six months. “It helps me make better nutritional decisions by giving me instant feedback and a tangible nutrition plan.”

Respiratory Exchange Ratio
The science behind Lumen is based on Respiratory Exchange Ratio (RER), a method for determining metabolic fuel. In a single breath, Lumen measures the CO2 production and O2 uptake of a user’s breath to calculate how much energy is being burned from carbohydrates (higher CO2 levels), or fat (lower CO2 levels).

A breakdown of the science behind the device is available at lumen.me/science, with ‘numerous studies conducted to validate the device’s methods’.

“It was important to us that when it comes to energy sources in the body, Lumen not only educates users, but also validates those measurements,” said Dror Ceder, Lumen CPO & CMO. “They can count on them being scientific, accurate and personal, providing an easily digestible step-by-step guide to harness that analysis and actively lead healthier lives.

“The feedback we’ve received from our beta users and the successful weight loss they’ve achieved has been an incredible validation of our approach to making nutrition personalized and dynamic through real-time data.”

To help breathe life into Lumen, the company partnered with design firm, frog, to try and ensure a seamless user experience of the premium luxury product. Features such as lit graphics to bring the analysis process to life and a magnetic chrome cap to protect the air inlet strive to Lumen as offering a simplistic, yet sophisticated design.

“In a market saturated with me-too wearables, we wanted to help the Lumen team create something truly unique,” says Thomas Sutton, VP Design at frog. “They have achieved that by combining their unique sensing technology with robust behavioural science, bringing proven coaching techniques into the digital domain.

“This reflects a very clear vision of their core value proposition – whichh is about empowering positive change in people’s lives. Our goal has been to make sure that value is reflected in every aspect of the design.”



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