It’s good to know your weight. But it’s even better to know your muscle, bone and fat mass, as well as your body’s water content. The French bioimpedance measurement specialist, Aminogram, is presenting its BIODY XPERT at MEDICA. The wireless device can deliver an extremely precise measurement of a person’s total body composition in just one minute. Alain Letourneur, Aminogram founder, explains how the CE- and FDA-certified product works.
ME e-mag: What is bioimpedance measurement?
Alain Letourneur: In bioimpedance measurements, a very weak current is passed through the body. At 400 microamperes, it’s not felt at all. The resistance of the tissues is calculated as the current passes through them. This enables us to quantify the different substances making up the body, which is essentially water, fat, protein and minerals. The technique has been in use for about 50 years, but has evolved a lot recently.
ME e-mag: Can you briefly describe how BIODY XPERT came about?
Alain Letourneur: Aminogram was founded in 2003. Our first product was Aminostats Bio ZM, the forerunner of BIODY XPERT. To measure the body properly, it must be measured in its entirety. The current must pass from one end to the other, from the hands to the feet. Aminostats used cables with electrodes at the end. The measurement used two electrodes on the hands and two on the feet. I wanted to simplify this to make it easier to use, with no cables to get tangled, and I wanted to increase accuracy. This requires making a direct connection between the hand and the foot. This is the principle behind the new BIODY XPERT.
ME e-mag: How is it used?
Alain Letourneur: The device is shaped like a claw. The patient holds it by the butt end, places the claw around the ankle and holds a button down for five seconds. The device’s four electrodes send the current from the hand to the foot, making the measurements. It’s very easy to use.
Once the measurements are made, the data is transferred via Bluetooth to the processing software on a computer, tablet or telephone. The information also can be stored in the device for subsequent processing.
ME e-mag: What information will the software give us?
Alain Letourneur: We’re at the cutting edge of impedance measurement technology. This is a multi-frequency device which gives us a more complete scan of body constituents. For example, we’ll be able to distinguish between the percentage of intracellular and extracellular water. This will tell us if there is a proper balance between the two, a fundamental aspect of good health.
We’ll also be able to determine fat, muscle and bone mass. In addition, the response to the current will yield a certain number of indicators of good health.
ME e-mag: Who are the intended users?
Alain Letourneur: This type of device is basically for elite athletes, fitness centers and coaches. It also can be used in hospitals in the diagnosis of cancer, kidney failure and cardiovascular disease. We follow kidney transplant patients to see how their water content level changes. Kidney problems can provoke sudden jumps in hydration levels, which can be very dangerous. The device can reveal elevated water levels and determine whether they are intra- or extracellular. The only other way to measure that is via blood and urine analysis. BIODY XPERT measures this in five seconds and analyzes the results in one minute.
In general, a multi-frequency device costs between 7000 and 20,000 euros. Our product is available for 2000 euros.
ME e-mag: What are the most innovative aspects of this product?
Alain Letourneur: First, there’s the measurement system, which is extremely simple and rapid. Then there’s the price. In general, a multi-frequency device costs between 7000 and 20,000 euros. Our product is available for 2000 euros. This was one of our goals. I think this is a tool that is as indispensable for a doctor as a stethoscope or a sphygmomanometer.
ME e-mag: Will you be presenting other innovations at MEDICA?
Alain Letourneur: Yes. We’re also presenting BIODY LIFE. This device resembles BIODY XPERT, but is designed to be recommended by a doctor or a coach for home use. The doctor or coach will be able to keep track of the person’s measurements remotely. This is particularly useful for patients with kidney problems or for those on a diet. The doctor is alerted if things aren’t going well, and can check measurement history to see if the data are moving in the right direction. We’re working on using such evaluations in the fight against obesity. BIODY XPERT yields more information, but is only for professionals. With BIODY LIFE, we’re right in the middle of the doctor-patient relationship. It’s telemedicine.