One Can Now Measure Body Fat Through A Smartphone

Jul 14, 2015

Process of converging mobile and healthcare is speeding up. Because personal health care products with low risk become exempted from medical equipment, functions that are only available for medical equipment are now being installed in Smartphones and fitness bands.

Above picture shows a technology that can measure body fat through Smartphones and that Samsung Electronics applied for a patent.  Samsung Electronics said that it can measure body fat through 4 sensors. <Above picture shows a technology that can measure body fat through Smartphones and that Samsung Electronics applied for a patent. Samsung Electronics said that it can measure body fat through 4 sensors.>

According to industry circle on the 13th, Samsung Electronics applied for a patent for its technology that can measure body fat through Smartphones.

This technology known as ‘Mobile Device Body Fat Measuring Method and Equipment’, measures body fat through 4 sensors that are located on Smartphones’ covers or cases. It is an impedance method that analyzes body fat by calculating resistance value that occurs when weak current is going through a body.

“Although there are underwater body density measuring method, DEXA method using X-ray, and hypodermic fat measuring method using ultrasonic wave to measure body fat, they are usually expensive and difficult to operate. This invention is an impedance and body fat measuring technology using mobile device.” Samsung Electronics described about this technology on its patent document.

It is expected that Samsung Electronics will implement this technology on Smartphones because Samsung Electronics applied healthcare functions such as heart rate measurement or oxygen saturation method on to its Smartphones for a while. Korea’s regulation greatly eased up because personal healthcare products with low risk are being categorized as industrial products starting from the 10th and they don’t have to follow medical equipment standards.

Healthcare company called InBody already commercialized wearable device that can measure body fat earlier than Samsung Electronics. Also known as ‘InBody Band’, this product measures water content in a body, body fat, and amount of muscle by sending tiny alternating current through a body. It can be used for a variety of purposes such as working out and protection against kidney and liver diseases.

Most instruments that analyze body composition were in a scale-form until now. This company raised technology level by making it wearable on a wrist. Because it is very easy to use, one can check body fat ratio in just 5 seconds if he or she puts thumb and index finger while wearing it on a wrist. Fitness functions that show calorie consumption, moving distance, and heart rate are also built in this device. One can check his or her amount of exercise if he or she connects it to Smartphones and making it as a personal application.

A person affiliated with InBody explained that motivation is the most important thing in exercising and that one can continuously work out if he or she knows changes of body fat and amount of muscle.

As Smartphones become daily necessity and wearable devices like fitness band that is easy to wear are developed, converging mobile technologies and healthcare is becoming very active globally as Apple, Google, MS, and IBM jumped into this field. Beyond healthcare within daily lives, Google is currently developing medical wrist band that can measure effects of new medicines or examine current situation of hospital outpatients

According to IT market investigative company called Research and Market, global mobile healthcare market will grow 61% every year until 2017 and it is expected that it will be worth about 23 billion dollars (26 trillion KRW).

Staff Reporter Yun, Kunil | benyun@etnews.com

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