It’s nearly 2024 and everyone is talking about AI. The just launched Attune App is a sign of the times, measuring biomarkers daily with only our phones, providing daily insights that can help us bridge the gap between our beliefs around health and our actual routines each day.
Are you tracking any biomarkers? Everyone seems to be tracking their health markers these days and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had friend interrupt a conversation with a slew of sleep stats, recovery data, or their heart rate variability. It’s part of how we all wellness these days.
For a long time, I passed on the health tracking data trend. As someone who is already anxiety-prone, I wondered how it could possibly be better for my health to be tracking so much data. However, after being introduced to a new AI-enabled wellness app, Attune Health I’ve finally changed my tune.
The Attune App is the latest innovation from Somavedic founder Juraj Kočar. It is one of the first non-wearable health trackers that use AI-enabled, video-based tech to measure key health biomarkers like blood pressure, oxygen saturation, HRV, and stress levels — all with a simple face scan on your phone.
Sound intriguing? We thought so. TCM asked me to give the app a try and, while I consider myself to be pretty healthy, I was curious what new data AI and the Attune App could reveal. Here’s my experience with the app…
The Science Behind The Attune App – Tapping Into Your Daily Wellbeing
The Attune App is one of the first of its kind, so I had a lot of questions. I caught up with the brilliant biohacking mind behind the app to get a deeper understanding of how the AI tech behind Attune could help me create live-time readings of key health metrics on my own phone.
For the past three years, Juraj and team have been researching and developing this new tool for people to track and access information about their daily health and wellbeing. “There are so many people that have access to a smartphone, but don’t have access to a doctor. At the core, that’s what motivated me. Around the world there are approximately 500M people with high blood pressure, for example, and 10’s of millions of people with diabetes, and they don’t even know about it.”
Attune relies on Remote Photo Platismography (rPPG technology). PPG tech has been used in hospitals to help measure heart rate and other health markers for over 50 years.
At the heart of Attune’s function, your camera sensor is able to measure and compare the light that is reflected from the surface of your skin and the light that is reflected from underneath the surface (veins, tissues, etc). With the help of AI-machine-learning algorithms, Attune measures more than eight vital signs with precision to give us an overall snapshot of our wellbeing—day by day, hour by hour.
Note that the app is not meant to replace traditional doctor’s appointments any more than your Fitbit does. Wellness tech like Attune is just one more way to help empower us as individuals to track our own wellness daily.
The Biomarkers Of Wellbeing
Attune’s current biomarkers have been chosen based on what the current state of technology allows vs. all of the different things that the team would hope to test for one’s wellness snapshot. For the time being, Attune’s key biomarkers are…
Heart Rate Variability (HRV) | Provides valuable insights into a person’s health and wellbeing and can be used to monitor and improve overall cardiovascular health.
Heart Rate | Can help identify irregularities, evaluate the response to physical activity, and monitor the effectiveness of medical treatment.
Oxygen Saturation | Measures the amount of oxygen in the blood and helps to assess the efficiency of oxygen delivery to the body’s tissues.
Breathing Rate | Can be an important tool for monitoring respiratory function, assessing fitness levels, and tracking overall health.
Sympathetic Stress | Is a measure of activity in the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the body’s “fight or flight” response. High levels of sympathetic stress can indicate chronic stress and lead to various health problems, such as heart disease and anxiety.
Parasympathetic Activity | A key component of the autonomic nervous system that regulates various bodily functions, including digestion, heart rate, and sleep. Monitoring it can help identify imbalances and guide interventions to improve overall health.
Pulse-Respiration Quotient (PRQ) | Provides Valuable insights into a person’s health and wellbeing, and can be used to monitor and improve overall cardiovascular health.
Blood Pressure | An important indicator of cardiovascular health. Elevated blood pressure is a risk factor for heart disease, stroke, or kidney disease.
The app also measures hemoglobin and Hemoglobin A1c. Users receive an email with these measurements.
The Attune team hopes that, by measuring these biomarkers often, users can benefit from the info for both preventative and reactive medicine. For example, if you get a certain result often enough, a trainer, wellness coach, nutritionist or doctor could make suggestions or look deeper into specific concerns.
My Experience With The AI Attune App + What My Naturopath Thought
I was sure there were going to be one million hoops to jump through just to figure out how to get my health data on the app. However, this was absolutely not the case.
After setting up my age, height and weight, I was ready to measure my vital signs, which involved patiently sitting in front of my camera for one full minute (no backlighting, please!).
Every morning, I would do an initial reading, and then, depending on how I felt about that reading, I would continue to measure throughout the day.
Some use cases included: pre-workout, post-workout, at my doctor’s office, while in my car on errands, while working on a deadline, and before going to sleep.
I was pretty alarmed during my first reading, which was pre-Pilates. I got a health score of—don’t judge me—3/10, which is not considered good on the wellness score. Luckily, by the end of the day, I made my way up to a 5/10, but the factors that remained consistent were my HRV and PRQ. Thankfully, these results came in just in time for a visit to my naturopathic doctor’s office, where I was able to express my discontent with my score. “But I’m healthy,” I cried!
She validated the app’s reading, which had to do with my overall stress response. She explained that it was less about my being in a dire health state and more about how my body was remaining in a constant state of duress (which is not news, let me tell you).
With a stamp of approval from my ND, I felt motivated throughout the week to continue using Attune as a way of testing which factors were affecting my biomarkers — and, yes, the app makes you oh-so-aware of how many steps you’re getting in a day too. Attune also helped me become more aware of just how much I needed to slow down throughout the day, measure my breath, and stay grounded.
Just before writing this piece, I measured at a 6/10, which is my highest and best score to-date. Apparently my PRQ is still high, but it gives me a small sense of accomplishment that I’m chipping away at those factors that keep me in that state of duress.
Where Wellness Tech Is Headed
Attune is a sign of the times. Year after year, we all hope to have better high-tech tools that help me measure the kinds of biomarkers that matter in our daily lives. So many of my friends are measuring steps and sleep. For me, the Attune app helped me go beyond those measures and reduce my stress.
The Attune team’s hope is that the app helps individuals to advocate for their own health. For some, Attune may provide a new basis of daily awareness. For others like me, who are healthy and near biohacker status, Attune may play into your strategy for optimizing wellbeing and making shifts in your regular habits.
I asked Juraj if he had any overarching lifestyle advice for people looking to improve their health at a baseline. His tips are simple, but — let’s be real — hit me in the comments if you’re actually adhering to all of them well!
+ Be aware of the food you eat—organic, not much processed food. Of course if you have a guilty pleasure, enjoy, but have it sparingly.
+ Be mindful of the water you drink—quality and filtration matter.
+ Good sleep hygiene—sleeping doesn’t mean you’re getting proper sleep. Never go to bed on a full stomach. Try not to eat at least three-to-four hours before going to bed because sleep is the most crucial time when your body regenerates.
+ Some kind of regular exercise, whatever you are drawn to. Just getting up and having some kind of movement every day is key!
Tracking apps like Attune can help us bridge the gap between our beliefs around health and our actual routines each day. Knowledge is power and tracking my own data this month has been empowering – and surprisingly fun.
TCM Reader Exclusive:
Get 10% off with code TCM10. The Attune App goes for just $89.99/year, a 6-month subscription for $49.99, or 3 months for $24.99. A great gift for the biohacker in your life who likes to stay on the cutting edge – and equally as useful for the parent or spouse who may need a nudge in the right direction. Attune feels like a no-brainer and can support your overall healthcare plans with daily data to support a preventative lifestyle.
The app now offers Family Profiles too. With one license, add up to 3 family members to do limitless scans and access their own statistics. Save big!
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This story is brought to you in partnership with Attune. From time to time, TCM editors choose to partner with brands we believe in to bring our readers special offers. All material on The Chalkboard Mag is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health-related programs.