Hemoglobin is a protein that binds to and carries oxygen in our blood. High Hgb levels indicate better athletic endurance abilities while lower Hgb readings suggest reduced red blood cell count and possible anemia. Testing hemoglobin normally requires blood to be drawn, lab work and often a MD’s approval for insurance coverage. A new product called Ember is changing that process.
Ember is a $400 portable device that uses 8 LED’s in the visible to infrared spectrum. There are photodetectors on the other side of the unit that are determining the amount of hemoglobin and blood oxygenation level when clamped onto a finger. Ember finally sends the data to be displayed on smart phone using bluetooth. The most unusual part of Ember is that after the first 200 tests users must purchase more credits for $1 each. Cheap compared to blood testing, but expensive for the app world.