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As a tool for the immediate assessment of physical activity and determination of energy needs, the ambulatory foot contact monitor is used to estimate the metabolic cost of locomotion, as described in Chapter 14. Estimations are based on the ratio of total body weight to foot contact time during each stride through an electronic device implanted in a shoe. While the technology is simple, easy to use, and inexpensive, it is unable as yet to determine total energy expenditure, needs to incorporate body weight, and does not account for up-and downhill movement.

The author of Chapter 15 details the use of near-infrared spectrometry as a method for the measurement of a single constituent within a complex organic mixture both in vitro and in vivo. After scanning a mixture over a range of wavelengths, the peaks in the resultant absorption patterns are analyzed using Beer's law or regression analysis to determine the concentration for the constituent of interest. One of the main uses of this technique is for monitoring blood metabolites noninvasively, but improvements in technology need to be made before its potential in the field can be tested.

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