The Story of BSX Technologies and Why We Care About Hydration
It is with great appreciation that I write this unique post. Many of my friends have been inquiring about our backstory, our roadmap, and our thoughts on the future of wearables. As much as we’ve enjoyed responding to everyone individually and the ensuing passionate dialogue, I thought I’d try to distill some of the most valuable nuggets from those conversations into a single post for everyone. Before doing so, please allow me to express my appreciation to each of you. Without your belief, your patience, your support and most importantly your inspiring success stories we would not be able to do the incredible things that we’re doing in the BSX laboratories. It is pretty amazing to think that with such a small team we have been able to do what no technology company in the history of the world has done before us.
BSX was officially started in the spring of 2012 as the outgrowth of a research project during my third year of medical school. It was through this project that I met my cofounder — then CTO of a successful medical device company — and we discovered a shared passion for smart sensors and wearable technologies. For me, the passion (some would say obsession) began three years prior to this serendipitous meeting and coincidentally, three weeks before my 25th birthday. It was the day I had a stroke. (I’ll tell you in a moment what caused it. The answer will surprise you!) To be brief, I was lucky because as a medical doctor I was trained. I knew the warning signs as soon as they appeared which allowed me to immediately respond. But, months of rehab and therapy followed before I could eventually claim a full recovery and the lessons I learned would last a lifetime. This experience taught me that the beauty of the quantified-self movement is not simply that we now know more about our bodies. It’s that we are measuring the right things at the right time so that we can do something about it when it counts.
OUR FIRST PRODUCT
This, and a series of other equally formative experiences set us on the path that would eventually become BSX Technologies. The genesis project I alluded to in the previous section involved existing medical grade optical sensors that were being used in the ICUs of hospitals in the Texas Medical Center to help inform better, real-time treatments. What we saw in this technology was a platform potential that could elegantly extend the privileges of medical diagnostics into design friendly wearables to solve real problems being experienced by real people. Such as me. And such as you.
Our first product, gen 1 of BSXinsight (launched in 2015) became the first ever wearable lactate threshold sensor. And it still is. Using BSXinsight, thousands of athletes around the world have achieved new personal records by getting access to the same technologies used by professional and Olympic athletes for decades. It was an incredible success! The second generation of BSXinsight was released almost one year later in response to overwhelming demand for BSXinsight to provide real-time, every-day monitoring. With gen 2 we released the industry’s leading muscle oxygen technology, providing athletes for the first time ever with real time understanding to how hard their body is working (think tachometer in a car) and the physiological effects of various training loads.
So what does the future hold at BSX? To answer this question, we look to our past, to those formative experiences that constituted the spark of our inspiration and our passion. As anecdotal experience would tell you, strokes are not common in healthy 24 year olds such as myself (at the time) and the uniqueness of my event produced an exhaustive medical evaluation to identify the root cause. Any guess what this might have been? If you had guessed infection, blood disorder, or trauma these would have been great guesses but they would have been wrong. It was concluded that my stroke was the result of dehydration. Dehydration! Experienced during an outdoor service project I had been involved with the day previously. Yes, you heard me correctly, this life threatening emergency could have been avoided by simply drinking more water!! Nothing fancy, no miracle drug, just water.
I have since learned that approximately 60 percent of people are dehydrated at the time of stroke and the AHA suggests that “dehydration causes blood to be thicker causing it to flow less easily to the brain through the narrowed or blocked blood vessels.” Beyond just strokes, dehydration is tied to pretty much every other aspect of our lives, including: exercise capacity, sleep quality, cognitive performance, mood state, weight management, and dozens more. These are things that touch each of our lives more directly and I suspect ‘problems’ that you’re actively trying to solve in your own lives.
With this as our inspiration, I am pleased to announce that we have developed the first ever hydration monitor. We call it LVL.
We have already built functional wrist-based prototypes and have tested over 100 research subjects in our laboratories to both validate and hone the technology.
MEASURE WHAT MATTERS
With BSXinsight and LVL, we are staying true to our mission of Measuring What Matters and we have many more innovations in store to empower athletes and fitness-minded people everywhere to make their lives better.
Please click here and signup to stay in-the-know about our revolutionary hydration monitor that we are building together. We will send you top secret information as well as a limited time discount offer when the campaign launches.
Thanks and Best Regards,