TTWCP-856-06 Tech that makes Travel Secure, Russ Rymut of Nobo: Tech that makes Travel Secure, Russ Rymut of Nobo (TTWCP-856-06)

On This Episode…

Mr. Rymut specializes in healthcare technology, medical devices, and system design/architecture.

Mr. Rymut uses his passion for healthcare technology to build new technologies that solve healthcare problems, and his expertise is backed by more than 20 years in the healthcare industry. Prior to founding Nobo, Mr. Rymut worked for both Honeywell Life Care Solutions and GE Medical, among other positions in the healthcare and medical technologies fields.

Mr. Rymut earned his degree in electrical engineering from Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI.

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TTWCP-856-Russ Rymut

Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors.


Russ Rymut – Nobo

Airing Date: March 12, 2016


Craig Peterson: Nobo’s been involved with a number of different types of sensors over the years to help improve performance, athletes, in medicine, doctors. We’re gonna talk about a new Nobo product right now that can make a huge difference           in almost anybody’s life. A nice little wearable with Russ Rymut, welcome.

Russ Rymut: Thank you very much for having me. 

Craig: Now you’ve got a sensor here that can sense hydration levels. How does that all work?

Russ: We’re developing a wearable hydration monitor. What’s really important about it, or is cool about it… so it’s measuring the spectrum of hydration. From dehydration to optimal balance to over-hydration, which is actually a bigger problem than some people realize.

Craig: Over-hydration?

Russ: Yeah. So it turns out that for a lot of athletes, you know, we’ve been told to keep hydrating, keep hydrating. And some athletes especially in marathons and recreational runners tend to drink too much water and that could lead to hyponatremia, which is a sort of an electrolyte imbalance and it can lead to pretty horrible outcomes.

Craig: Well you can die from this. Most people don’t even realize that from drinking too much water.

Russ: Yeah. Last year, in football in all levels, there were 2, I’m sorry, 4 deaths related to improper hydration. 2 of them were due to heatstroke and 2 were actually because of over-hydration.

Craig: Wow. Alright, so how are you dealing with this? What are you doing? And how does the sensor work?

Russ: So we’re developing a wearable device for athletes, you know, high level athletes to wear. It attaches to the athlete’s calf which is a nice location because it stays out of the way as they’re competing. And it uses optical technology to directly measure the amount of water in the tissues. We shine lights of various wavelengths into the body and measure how much of that light is absorbed and from that we can calculate a metric that tells us how much water is in the body.

Craig: Ok. And how is this worn?

Russ: It’s on the athlete’s calf.

Craig: Ok. It’s like a strap I assume?

Russ: Yeah. Like a neoprene calf sleeve sort of separate device.

Craig: Alright. You’re talking about athletes here. When I think of athletes, I’m thinking of pros or semi-pros. How about a guy or gal playing golf for the day?

Russ: Yeah, I mean there are lots and lots of applications for hydration monitoring. It’s certainly recreational athletes and consumers, is one of those areas we really wanna get into. But you know, we’re initially focusing on those high level athletes because maintaining optimal balance is really critical to maintaining performance and, you know, team success.

Craig: Right.

Russ: There are even applications in critical care medicine in managing patients in a hospital to monitoring firefighters and soldiers and lots of other applications as well.

Craig: Alright. So I have a sensor in my calf.

Russ: Yup.

Craig: What happens at that point? Where is that transmitted?

Russ: So for those athletic teams, there’s a display on the device itself that’s really easy to read and interpret during activity, but then the date is also transmitted to an application for the athlete to use so they can, he or she, can monitor his or her own hydration. But it’s also being sent to an application that the team’s medical staff can see so they can review the hydration status of all of their players and make adjustments accordingly.

Craig: Oh, nice. So this works well for individuals who might want to make sure that they’re hydrated properly.

Russ: Correct.

Craig: But it’s gonna be fantastic for teams.

Russ: Yeah, absolutely. We think, by looking at the hydration data and ultimately including other pieces of data, you now, like performance data and speed tracking and all those kinds of things, you know it becomes a real powerful tool to check how the athlete’s nutrition is affecting their performance on the field.

Craig: Oh, that’s sure to… nutrition is a little broader topic than just hydration.

Russ: Yeah, well, exactly… exactly. Actually, one pf my favorite research paper says water is the most neglected nutrient. Yeah, we don’t think about water as being a part of nutrition. But it really is.

Craig: It’s true. And it seeps out of the largest organ that we have in the body.

Russ: Yeah, exactly.

Craig: Yeah, which is the skin. Now, college teams, I know a lot of times in college… all of the sports, the athletes and the coaches aren’t at the level of professional athletes and some of these problems we’ve seen even with the true pros. Is this something that colleges are looking to adopt to?

Russ: Oh, absolutely. We’ve been talking to athletic trainers, really at lots of different levels. But we’ve spoken with NCAA, football trainers, NFL trainers, and lots of different sports. You know, pretty much all the trainers we’ve talked to understand the problem and understand what a big problem it is. Because what they’re doing now to monitor hydration is they’re weighing the athletes before and after the practice. You know, that works, sort of… and it’s sort of the de facto gold standard for hydration monitoring. But, you know, it’s not real time. It’s a little cumbersome if you’re detecting the hydration after the fact, you know, you sort of lost the opportunity to improve performance.

Craig: Right. And real time is the key.

Russ: Right.

Craig: That’s what we’re talking about here. Anything else you’d like to add?

Russ: Well, certainly there’s more information at, but we’re really excited about the opportunities ahead.

Craig: Alright. Again, online, online. Russ Rymut, thanks for being with us.

Russ: Thank you for having me.