Nordic-powered wearable analyzes health and fitness performance using key biomarkers

graphical user interface

NNOXX One employs Nordic Semiconductor’s nRF5340 SoC to power health sensors and relay data to user’s smartphone.

Health and fitness technology company NNOXX Inc. has released a wearable that tracks biomarkers within the body. The device is designed for use by anyone from professional athletes to casual gym-goers. Using a range of sensors, ‘NNOXX One’ measures nitric oxide (NO) and muscle oxygenation (SmO2) levels during exercise. Nitric oxide increases blood flow oxygen delivery to the heart, brain and muscles. 

Advanced health and fitness wearable 

“Research has shown that nitric oxide is a key indicator in the overall health and fitness of an individual, and is a much more informative biomarker to monitor than tracking steps, heartrate or VO2 max,” says Justin Saul, CEO and Co-Founder of NNOXX Inc. “With NNOXX One, we have created an easy, non-invasive way to monitor this key biomarker, which in the past has required an invasive lab test to obtain. This is a gamechanger in fitness wearables and in helping people improve their health and performance.” 

NNOXX One includes photodiodes, a temperature sensor and an accelerometer, all of which are supervised using Nordic Semiconductor’s nRF5340 SoC. The SoC features dual Arm® Cortex®-M33 processors, comprising a high performance application processor and a fully programmable, ultra low power network processor.
Nordic has a great reputation for low-power, high performance chips that enable rapid development and provide excellent support
Justin Saul, CEO and Co-Founder of NNOXX Inc.

Plug-and play range extension 

In addition, the wearable also incorporates Nordic’s nRF21540 RF front-end module (FEM), a ‘plug and play’ range extender offering enhanced link robustness with an integrated power amplifier (PA) and low noise amplifier (LNA). This enables up to +20 dBm TX output power (110 mA power consumption), with a power consumption of 2.9 mA in RX and 45 nA in power down mode. The RF FEM ensures, for example, that athletes exercising at one end of a sports field can reliably send their data to a smartphone at the other end. 

Using the corresponding NNOXX One app (available for iOS and Android) users can not only view their data after completing a workout, but also access a ‘guided’ workout. By selecting the desired cyclical workout (for example, running, biking, or rowing) and a workout length, the ‘AI Coach’ can guide the user, based on their biomarkers, to increase the effectiveness of the workout. Those using the NNOXX One Elite—which is designed for high performance athletes—can access their data on the ‘NNOXX One High Performance Platform’ website, which provides more detailed charts and analytics, tracking workout intensity, volume, and recovery over time.

NNOXX One uses a custom Li-ion battery that allows it to last for up to four hours between charges. The nRF5340 SoC’s radio helps extend battery life, with a TX current of 3.4 mA (0 dBm TX power, 3 V, DC/DC), an RX current of 2.7 mA (3 V, DC/DC), and a sleep current that is as low as 0.9 µA.

“Nordic has a great reputation for low-power, high performance chips that enable rapid development and provide excellent support,” says Saul. “And the nRF5340 SoC is the most complete, affordable, low-powered, high-processing solution on the market. 

“We developed our own application code using the nRF Connect SDK [Software Development Kit]. It was very helpful both when building a prototype, and throughout the rest of the development and production process.”