Fat-measurement device sends pulses of light into users' bellies
Although many people routinely pinch their belly in order to see how fat they're getting, that's really only a measure of their subcutaneous "under the skin" fat. The Bello device goes deeper, using light to measure visceral fat.
While subcutaneous fat is located directly beneath the skin and over top of the abdominal muscles, visceral fat is situated behind those muscles. This means that its levels can't be gauged simply by pinching the belly skin between two fingers. It is important to know how much visceral fat is present, though, as excessive amounts have been linked to health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, and fatty liver disease.
That's where Bello is designed to come in.
Held against the abdominal skin, it sends pulses of near-infrared light (of various wavelengths) into the underlying tissue. Some of that light gets absorbed by the tissue, while the rest is scattered and reflected back to the device. Based on analysis of these distinctive "reflectance signals," Bello is reportedly able to determine the subcutaneous and visceral fat densities of the area scanned.
That data is transmitted by Bluetooth to an iOS/Android app on the user's smartphone, where it's displayed in the form of an onscreen readout. A warning is provided if visceral fat levels are dangerously high, along with recommendations for addressing the problem.
According to its creators, Bello has been validated via tests performed at "a renowned university hospital," where its readings were found to correlate strongly with those of traditional clinic-based fat-measurement systems. It's also claimed to be superior to devices that utilize bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) technology, as its readings aren't affected by users' hydration levels.
Should you be interested, Bello is currently the subject of an Indiegogo campaign. A pledge of US$189 will get you one, when and if they reach production. The planned retail price is $379.