Echo Wearable is a small startup from the Stanford-affiliated Start X incubator and it is totally fair to say that it has been a while since we have witnessed something as impressive as Echo Lab in wearable space.
Echo Lab’s latest prototype wristband can measure carbon-dioxide, oxygen, hydration, blood pressure levels in the blood and pH by using optical signals. Moreover, Apple’s watch, Fitbit and Jawbone are working on getting same insights under skin but Echo Wearable is among the first one to go public with details of its own working prototype band which is packed with sensors.
Echo Wearable is not ready for the market yet, founders Pierre-Jean Cobut 32 and Elad Ferber 29 have already been fielding investigations from companies in biotechnology, medtech, insurance, pharma and also car manufacturers, most of whom are keen on the ability to monitor the composition of blood continuously.
Ferber and Cobut originally planned to pitch their product directly to users but theirs is a team of three and its quite difficult for them to release a consumer product any time soon. Their wristband works by measuring blood content with a proprietary algorithm. It shines electromagnetic waves through human tissue and then measures reflection of varying light frequencies in order to detect concentration of molecules in the blood stream.
One of the major challenges with using optics to measure composition of blood is noise. If you walk around with a pulse oximeter, it will stop working. Various companies have tried addressing this issue using lasers and optics.
Echo Lab’s Ferber says his algorithm is robust enough to measure composition of blood continuously whether a wearer is sitting or running. He also thinks that his team could tackle with the problem of measurement of glucose level via invasive method, in a couple of years. He also said that he wants to provide users with real insights with things that they could act on.