We knew Abbott CEO Robert Ford would bring his 'A' game to CES 2022, but we didn't expect to hear about a brand-new category of health technology the company is developing. Ford's keynote at the Consumer Electronics Show will go down in history as the first time a healthcare company has delivered the keynote at CES, the most influential tech event in the world.
"Health tech is a big part of CES. It isn't new to CES, but health innovation has certainly taken on a new urgency since we last gathered two years ago in Las Vegas," said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO at the Consumer Technology Association, as he introduced Ford to the stage. "First and foremost, without incredible innovations in health tech – COVID vaccines, testing, and treatments – we just wouldn't be sitting here together in this room. The pandemic also unleashed a wave of attention and creativity in the sector offering up new devices and platforms at lower costs ... In a world where consumers want on-demand everything, healthcare is no exception. And what greater purpose is there for technology than advancing human well-being and health?"
Even without dropping a bombshell announcement, Ford's keynote would have had an impact as he introduced doctors, scientists, and others whose lives have been impacted by Abbott devices. But all of that was overshadowed by the unveiling of a new category of Abbott consumer biowearables called Lingo. The company said Lingo encompasses future biowearables that are being designed to translate your body’s unique language, allowing you to track key biomarkers in the body – such as glucose, ketones, lactate, and alcohol – to help better understand your general health and wellness.
Abbott's Lingo portfolio of products are under development and are not intended for medical use. Lingo products are not for sale in the United States. Products shown above are for illustrative purposes only.
How Abbott's Lingo technology will help us decode our body's language
Lingo extends the Abbott sensing technology platform the company first developed for people with diabetes through the introduction of the Abbott Freestyle Libre continuous glucose monitoring system, and later expanded into a product designed for athletes. Now the technology will have the potential to impact a broader pool of consumers.
"It's about learning your body's unique language, a language that most of us have yet to learn how to speak," Ford said. "What if we could decode the messages our body is trying to send us as a way to maintain and improve health?"
Ford said diabetes was Abbott's first priority with the sensing technology.
"Now, we have the evidence and the expertise that comes from three and a half million users, and we're gonna take it to the next level. We're gonna translate a wide range of biometric signals – glucose, ketones, lactate, and alcohol – these are all important parts of your metabolic health, and Lingo is being designed to measure these biomarkers and provide more deeper and meaningful insights," Ford said.
For individuals following a keto diet, the technology will offer real-time feedback as to whether or not their body is in ketosis. Similarly, understanding one's glucose patterns is key to a broad range of health benefits from weight management to improved energy levels and sleep quality, Ford said.
"And finally, the Lingo alcohol sensor is gonna help you make some better decisions, I can tell you that, and perhaps even connect to your car, and help you decide just how much of Abbott's Pedialyte you need to drink after, well, whatever you did last night," Ford said. "It's amazing what our bodies can tell us, and with Lingo, it's expected that you'll understand what your body really needs, and what's good for you. Your body is constantly talking to you, and now it's time to listen."
To watch Ford's keynote and to hear stories from others who joined him on stage, including actress and comedian Sherri Shepherd, use the embedded YouTube video below. Tip: skip ahead to about the 24:45 mark to go directly to the beginning of the keynote, as the first 24 minutes of the video is just music.