Tags: federal | spending | obesity | trackers

Feds Spend Over $2 Mil on Obesity Monitors

By    |   Wednesday, 15 Oct 2014 06:21 PM

The federal government has spent more than $2 million on a pair of grants to develop insoles and buttons that link to a smart phone and help track obese wearers' weight, exercise and diet.

The National Institutes of Health grants for the digital weight watchers aim to modify "lifestyle behavior" of people who are overweight and sedentary, the Washington Free Beacon reports.

One $1.3 million grant went to SmartMove, Inc.to come up with insoles that monitor "body weight, posture allocation, physical activity … and energy expenditure," according to its abstract, which calls the footwear "an extremely useful tool for weight management."

The Free Beacon posted a video showing a 2011 prototype of the device, which is designed to link to a smart phone app.

Story continues below video.



"Such a device could be used to quantify and modify physical activity and lifestyle behavior in overweight and obese individuals and others with sedentary lifestyles," the abstract states.

A second $766,667 NIH grant is funding research to develop an "eButton" with tiny cameras that watch what you eat, according to the abstract for the device from University of Pittsburgh researchers.

The device will contain "a powerful microprocessor, a novel eating detector, a pair of cameras, and a variety of electronic sensors to automatically, jointly and objectively measure energy intake and expenditure, as well as environment and behavior related to diet and physical activity," the abstract states.

The button will monitor when a person eats, drinks, or smokes, and will also be linked to an Environmental Protection Agency database to measure the "outdoor environment."

Like the digital footwear, the eButton links to a smart phone to "allow researchers to monitor the operating status of eButton remotely in real time," according to the abstract.

The Free Beacon reports researchers have designed versions of the eButton to look like a Pittsburgh Steelers pin – and that the device can even nag a wearer about, for example, chicken nuggets after consumption of 1,000 calories, warning: "No way!"

The university says the button could also, however, be used for "monitoring the elderly," and for police officers to wear as badges.

"It could mark a new domain of wearable computing," the university says, according to the Free Beacon. "Unlike the cell phone which spends most times sleeping, eButton never sleeps—it helps the user all the time.”

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The federal government has spent more than $2 million on a pair of grants to develop insoles and buttons that link to a smart phone and help track obese wearers' weight, exercise and diet.
federal, spending, obesity, trackers
408
2014-21-15
Wednesday, 15 Oct 2014 06:21 PM
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