Biowearables 101: Health Tech That Goes Deeper

Breaking down biowearable tech, how it works and how it could change the way you see your health.

In September, we witnessed a feat in human history: the fastest official marathon ever run at the time.

At the Berlin Marathon — one of the Abbott World Major Marathons — Eliud Kipchoge beat his own previous world record time with a mind-blowing, history-making, near-incomprehensible 2:01:09, all while wearing a tiny piece of tech under his sleeve.

The biowearable helps Kipchoge better understand how his nutritional intake and timing impacts his performance, both peak and endurance, as he prepares to race, races and recovers.

So, what are biowearables and what can they do for you when you’re seeking key insights in your day-to-day personal health? We’re breaking it down.

Biowearables Basics

You may have seen wearable tech in the form of watches or rings, but our biowearables go a bit deeper.

Biowearables are a type of wearable tech that reaches beneath the skin to measure biomarkers such as ketones, glucose and lactate, combining data and actionable insights to support informed healthy choices.

They’re composed of two primary components:

  • The biosensor measuring data. To gather this data, our biowearables collect information from interstitial fluid found in the space between cells via a tiny — the width of three human hairs — flexible filament inserted painlessly1 below the skin’s surface.

  • From there, the data is sent to a smartphone app* via Bluetooth where the data from those biomarkers is translated into actionable learnings.

What Biowearables Can Do

Our vision is to increase visibility into the inner workings of the human body to be able to act upon patterns that impact our daily lives and health.

But biowearables can go beyond, holding the promise to give people more control over their health.

One of Abbott’s first biowearables was in the medical space – our FreeStyle Libre portfolio, which helps people living with diabetes continuously monitor glucose levels without fingersticks.2 This CGM technology is now used by more than 5.5 million people around the world, and studies continue to show the positive health outcomes for people with diabetes.

For consumers, however, biowearables are more about improving energy, losing weight, enhancing athletic performance and more.

And as we know, knowledge is power.

Who knows, maybe it could help you run a marathon. Or maybe even break Eliud Kipchoge’s mark. Anything is possible with good health.

Abbott is the title sponsor of the Abbott World Marathon Majors, a series of six of the largest and most renowned marathons in the world: Tokyo Marathon, Boston Marathon, TCS London Marathon, BMW BERLIN-MARATHON, Bank of America Chicago Marathon and TCS New York City Marathon. Click here to learn more.


1Data on file, Abbott Diabetes Care.
2 Fingersticks are required for treatment decisions when you see Check Blood Glucose symbol and when your readings from the system do not match symptoms or expectations.

* Apps are only compatible with certain mobile devices and operating systems. Please check our website for more information about device compatibility before using the app

This story was updated on March 1, 2024.