Abe Kiani, MD, a practicing anesthesiologist in Loma Linda, California and VP of Medical Affairs for Cercacor, joined me at the 2016 CES conference to talk about their product, Ember, a non-invasive hemoglobin tracking system for athletes.
The technology behind the Ember is the same as the one sold by Masimo and used in hospitals to non-invasively track hemoglobin levels. Masimo is a “brother company” to Cercacor—in fact, it was founded and is run by Abe’s brother, Joe E. Kiani.
Elite athletes and hemoglobin
Elite athletes have known about the performance-enhancing benefits of optimizing hemoglobin levels for years. Prior to the advent of blood doping and the use of erythropoietin (aka EPO), elite athletes used to train at altitude where the lower oxygen levels could naturally stimulate the production of red blood cells.
Because there is uncertainty about the duration of time each athlete needs to remain at altitude, there was a need to find an easy, non-invasive way to track the effects of altitude training on hemoglobin levels. That is what Cercacor was designed to do.
Watch the video to learn more:
I asked Abe about less savory uses for the tracker, such as monitoring of blood doping and EPO use. He indicated it is their hope that when providing elite athletes with an easy, non-invasive way to monitor “natural self-doping” via altitude training and diet optimization, athletes will find it easier to do the right thing. We certainly hope so!