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“Nutritionist in your pocket”: Lumen’s portable device measures metabolism through breathing

November 27, 2020
Food & Drink

Lumen is a handheld, portable device and app that measures users’ metabolism in real-time. The company is picking up momentum thanks to an entrance on the UK market following a global rollout, as well as a new collaboration with Garmin, a wearable technology company.

The device is marketed as the first at-home metabolism-tracking solution that is available outside of research labs.

The system measures a person’s breathing to provide insight into how efficiently their body optimizes fats and carbs.
NutritionInsight speaks to Daniel Tal, CEO of Lumen, to learn about the device’s functionalities and the burgeoning demand for personalized nutritional and fitness solutions.

“We have a desire to understand exactly what is happening with us in real-time,” he says. “But nutrition is one area where there is still so much to explore – there is actually a lack of real-time data in nutrition.”

At-home metabolic tracking
While metabolism is key to weight loss, Lumen details that the previous method to test metabolism was through a restrictive, hours-long laboratory process. This left people with little visibility into their metabolic rate and potentially harmful ways of improving it.

Lumen, which faced an eight year R&D process, was created to address these issues. Consumers can breath into a handheld Lumen device to measure their body’s carbon dioxide concentration.

These levels, calculated through Lumen’s scientific research and development, indicate the type of fuel the body is using to produce energy – a mix of fat or carbs.

The solution is marketed as being like having “a nutritionist in your pocket.” The device also provides users with personalized suggestions on when and what to eat to fuel your workout, based on their metabolism.

Daily insights for improving metabolic flexibility

With Lumen’s daily insights, users can improve their metabolic flexibility, which is the body’s ability to shift efficiently between using fats or carbs as a source of energy.

“On one end of the spectrum, we have athletes like the professional swimmer Michael Andrew or world-class cyclist Chris Froome who want to fuel their performance in real time and with precision,” explains Tal.

“On the other end, we also have people who want to better understand how their body responds to food, who are conscious about their nutrition and lead normal lifestyles,” he continues. “They might be meditators or intermittent fasters who want to improve their health and well-being.”

“Michael Andrew for example will use Lumen before his workout to understand if he has enough energy to perform or fuel up, and other consumers use Lumen to fuel up their day in the morning or just to understand how their meal impacted their fat burn.”

Tal adds that people suffering from obesity also see a significant difference in their sustainable weight loss just by making small adjustments every day.

Tailored to fit
Today’s consumers are becoming increasingly familiar with self-monitoring for better sleep, exercise and many other physiological factors. “Tailored to Fit” was notably pegged a Top Trend for 2021 by Innova Market Insights, expected to steer F&B and nutritional product development.

“Awareness on the impact of what we eat in a real-time and in a data-centered way has endless potential, and we are just entering the initial phases of this potential,” says Tal.

Tal highlights that disease prevention positionings are coming into view as an opportunity. “This also relates to aging. For example, people can age well by proactively taking decisions about building muscle mass and keeping a healthy diet according to those goals.”

Meanwhile, he notes that the health care sphere is another industry that will be impacted by personalized nutrition. “Insurance policies [often] only cover people who cross the chronic conditions or diseases line.”

“What if we could put more people on the path to wellness before they get seriously ill?”

Tapping into the global health market
Lumen is available globally in 126 different countries. Tal anticipates that the platform will support more languages in the future and make new integrations with various smart watches on the market.

“We have just joined forces with Garmin, and can give you real-time insights into how your workout and physiological data is impacting your metabolism,” he remarks.

“By integrating with smartwatches and fitness trackers, we can integrate notifications that are closer to the real life changes of a person.”

The partnership with Garmin includes a Connect IQ Lumen App and Garmin Health API integration. Garmin users can now integrate their health and activity data such as heart rate, sleep, steps and calories burned into the Lumen app.

For continual metabolic tracking, Garmin users with compatible devices will also have access to Lumen data such as morning insights, daily and weekly Lumen levels and the Lumen Flex Score, which indicates the degree of metabolic flexibility.

By Benjamin Ferrer & Katherine Durrell


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