After losing 80 pounds in two years, Sameer Sontakey of Biostrap refound health and sparked his interest in bringing a product to the market that allows the everyday user as well as sports athletes to track their rest and recovery metrics allowing them to biohack their way to better health. 

With a Bachelor's in Computer Science, Sameer Sontakey combined over a decade of experience in the software engineering industry with an interest in health and fitness to develop Biostrap from the ground up. 

Biostrap has reinvented data health tracking for the everyday user by creating an affordable, easy to use device that offers tracking of heart rate variability, sleep, heart rate, respiration rate, activity, steps, calories burned, SPO2, and pulse oximetry, and personalized insights.

“Respiratory rate is a really interesting metric that we should be paying more attention to more often. The lower the better —somewhere around 12 when sleeping. People with above 20 often have heart conditions.”

Sameer Sontakey

Using infrared technology to track rather than greenlight technology, it allows a deeper analysis than most products on the market.

Rather than focusing on how hard you’ve been going, Biostrap changes the focus to how well you rest and recover so you can keep improving your health.

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In this podcast you’ll learn:

  • About how the product was built from the ground up starting with how to move the data from the device to the servers and then built the tracking device. The secret sauce is the software that they own and created [3:07]
  • That the wrist-worn tracking device is similar to other wrist-worn devices, but it collects more data than other devices [4:20]
  • That Sameer Sontakey wanted to give everyone the same feeling of success he had through tracking to keep motivated [8:55]
  • How these tools have existed for a long time, but they are now being brought to healthcare to help you take charge of your health [10:40]
  • Exciting News! Heads Up are integrating Biostrap into the Heads Up API integration [11:05]
  • About the device and the types of sensors used. The clinical grade pulse oximeter uses a different wave-length IR spectrum which penetrates the skin a bit deeper in the arteries and provides more biometric data. Greenlight gets absorbed by your body but doesn’t penetrate deep enough to give the same data. Biostrap monitors the body when it’s at rest, which they believe says more about your body that it does when you're active. This shows how your body is going to perform under stress [12:30]
  • Biostrap provides baselining, taking a 5-day baseline to figure out where your normals are and then they monitor Sp02, HRV, resting HR and respiratory rate [14:30] 
  • “Respiratory rate is a really interesting metric that we should be paying more attention to more often. The lower the better, somewhere around 12 when sleeping. People with above 20 often have heart conditions.” — Sameer Sontakey [15:00]
  • How tracking your heart rate and respiratory rate through your sleep cycle can provide more data to your doctor or cardiologist that may be more useful than some blood tests that are standard. This could mean the difference between getting a diagnosis and missing one that could be critical [16:05]
  • How IR wavelength is different than green which is what is used in most commercial off the shelf devices. The photosensor captures what is reflected through IR but not with green, so we can get actual arterial information.  [17:15]
  • Why other companies don’t use IR in their sensors. Greenlight will get you in the ballpark for activity, however, Biostrap can track the resting and recovery data which can be more helpful to understand what added stressors may do to your body [18:30]
  • How you're recovered and how you sleep is the main focus of the Biostrap device as they really want to focus on how you rest and recover to indicate your resilience [19:28]
  • That a FitBit will give you a sleep score, but it won’t give you data from the entire night on your HRV or heart rate and sleep [20:15]
  • Why HRV is a primary focus for optimal health whether you’re a stay at home mom, entrepreneur, or a busy CEO [21:45]
  • How behavior change can be made harder by lack of sleep or low HRV, and how tracking these metrics and improving them can help you with things like avoiding sugar and making better decisions [22:40]
  • Why tracking HRV and understanding how to utilize it and even diving into 7-day HRV CV tracking [24:30]
  • Metrics tracked are pulse oximetry, SPO2, HRV, HR, steps, calories burned, with great data visualization and insights that are unique [25:30]
  • Screenshare of Dave’s data from his Biostrap tracking device [26:15]
  • Updated the dashboard recently and what you should focus on and maximize [26:40]
    • Activity - hourly movement, which is based on all movement and your goals
    • Sleep - Sleep and recovery can be correlated, but a great night of sleep doesn’t always equal great recovery and vice versa
    • Resting heart rate - The lowest heart rate through the nocturnal cycle, so you can compare what your lowest point is every night.  They measure every 2, 5, or 10 minutes based on your settings
    • Nocturnal HRV that is based on a linear fit model by figuring out what your wake up and sleep time HRV are and that gives you a slope, which provides a different reading that other devices, which also means it won’t match other devices exactly
    • Breathing rate - There are tools to improve your breathing rate, like breathwork, meditation, massage, hot tub, yin yoga, etc.
    • SPO2 - Looking at your nighttime SPO2. You don’t want to be below 95 on this one
  • You can compare your readings to other users to see where you stand and can use it to motivate making changes [34:45]
  • There are manual recording options [36:30]
  • Remote monitoring with authorization is useful for coaches, or family members that live in another area and you want to help them improve their health [36:55]
  • Creating an add on of self-experiments that you can do and monitor for two weeks to see how those habits change your metrics and body response. Taking biohacking and bringing it to everyone to make better behavioral decisions [39:00]
  • Why Sameer Santakey quit drinking all alcohol after seeing how even a half a beer affects his recovery [42:05]
  • How you make different changes based on your stage of life and your priorities and tracking your rest and recovery data with Biostrap can help you achieve what is happening in your body [42:30]

References

Biostrap

Chili Pad

Blackout curtains

Ambient white noise machines

Air purifier

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