A fitness ‘Ring’ to CGM sensors: How Ultrahuman wants to change user approach to health

A fitness tracker that literally wraps around your finger. That’s how the Ultrahuman Ring is presented – a wearable that can be worn on the finger and then used to track various health parameters. The Ultrahuman Ring is the Bengaluru-based company’s first original hardware product and the brand’s second offering.

The Ring is currently available for pre-order on the company’s website for a price tag of Rs 22,499 and will ship in December this year. It has a battery life of four to six days.

“The Ring measures your sleep, recovery and your movement. It helps you understand your metabolism. Not taking care of your metabolism can also lead to chronic diseases, most commonly diabetes, pre-diabetes, hypertension, chronic obesity, PCOS and even cardiovascular disease,” said Mohit Kumar, founder and CEO of Ultrahuman. indianexpress.com about a call.

Tracking parameters:

According to Kumar, the Ring can collect a number of health markers. It comes with three PPG (photoplethysmography) sensors that send a light flux through the skin to measure the response and collect data. “We have an infrared sensor, a green light sensor and a red light sensor. These are all different spectrums and understand different aspects of your body. We are able to understand oxygen saturation, heart rate and heart rate variability very easily,” he noted.

The ring is available in four colors and is currently available for pre-order on the company’s website.

The company also claims that it can track movements and daily steps and that the error rate is less than three to four percent. The ring also comes with a temperature sensor. But unlike the Apple Look where the temperature sensor is being used to help women understand their menstrual cycles, Ultrahuman says it uses to understand “recovery.” Kumar calls it the “most reliable biomarker,” although he added that they are not using it to track menstrual cycles now, as further trials are needed.

Kumar said several factors could influence the recovery and lead to a temperature rise. “For example, if you train a hard day or if you are sick due to an infection, the temperature also rises. So if you’re overworked because of a workout and your temperature rises, it’s going to ask you to find the right recovery base for you,” he noted.

The platform also looks at factors beyond temperature, such as heart rate variability, to give the user their metabolic score, all of which the device can track.

Need for the Ring

But why did Ultrahuman feel the need to introduce this ring? After all, the company is best known for its Ultrahuman M1 program that uses Abbott’s continuous blood glucose monitoring (CGM) sensors and helps users track their daily blood sugar levels. All data from the CGM sensor is displayed on the app, with the company using its own software and algorithm to assign a daily metabolic score to the user. The Abbott sensor is a medical-grade device used by diabetologists for high-quality treatment of the disease.

Ultra-human M1 sensor For its Ultrahuman M1 program, the company uses Abbot’s continuous blood glucose monitoring (CGM) sensors.

Although the Ultrahuman Ring does not measure glucose, according to Kumar, customers are expected to use the Ring in combination with the CGM sensor in the future. The Ring is still in what Kumar calls a “super early launch phase,” with the company targeting the first 5,000 orders of the device.

Even the CGM program was in beta in beta until last month. Users were usually on a waiting list before being approved for the program. The company claims to have nearly 150,000 on its waiting list but has started rolling out invites to users as of this month.

When asked about CGM and whether it could be seen as scary as not everyone will be able to handle this data, Kumar said he sees it differently. He said that “your metabolic score on our platform won’t drop that much because of one or two spikes.” “But if you have 10 peaks a day, there is a problem that you have to solve. It’s not scaremongering. And to be fair, 20,000 people are not attracted to fear mongering,” he emphasized.

Rely on a preventive mentality

The way Kumar sees the coronavirus pandemic has introduced a new trend of users “trying to take control of their own health” before a disease strikes. The preventive mindset has increased and that’s where Ultrahuman hopes its programs can play a role. He added that the aim is to help people understand glucose levels with context and help them wake up and take responsibility.

Mohit Kumar, CEO and co-founder of Ultrahuman.

The Ultrahuman platform is not intended for anyone who actually has diabetes or is taking medications intended to control diabetes. “If you have diabetes, we tell people not to use it,” Kumar said.

Ultimately, the company says its core is to give the user the right pushes, all of which are focused on lifestyle changes. These nudges may include asking users to increase protein intake or walk after their meal. According to him, the platform’s program using CGM can also lead to chance discoveries because it measures a person’s lifestyle, which is different from clinically accepted data.

But what do users think of the data that the Ultrahuman app ultimately collects using the CGM sensors? Do they go to their doctor about this? Kumar said this is something that has started to happen and in some cases even doctors have asked for access. “Many doctors have come forward and said we want access to their own patients’ data. I think we’re seeing a progressive trend of doctors trying to do a lot more preventive medicine,” he added.

According to Kumar, the ultimate goal with Ultrahuman is to help users better understand their own biomarkers and take charge of their health. “From a data perspective, I think people will undoubtedly feel stressed. But then some kind of good stress is required so that you wake up and take responsibility,” he said.

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