Read the full story by Molly Sequin at Mashable here. 

It might be difficult to find a similarity between something that can help football players fight linebackers on the field and sick people fight infections in the hospital. But the bridge between them might be a Madison, Wisconsin startup call Isomark.

UW-Madison football players breathe into an Isomark bag at the beginning of a practice, twice during a workout, and twice when they’re done. A technology called Energy Balance measures the carbon isotopes in exhaled breath. The results let coaching staff know if the players are getting the most effective workout.

Not only do the results yield information on the intensity of the workout, but it can actually tell if calories are being burned from fat, carbohydrates, or protein. Isomark plans to begin marketing Energy Balance to more sports teams this fall, but theoretically anyone on a workout program could benefit from the tech.

Isomark developed Energy Balance via a collaboration between seven University of Wisconsin scientists with support from the University and state and federal grants.

In a similar vein, Isomark created Canary, which can spot bacterial infections in the breath of patients before they even feel the symptoms. Canary analyzes carbon isotopes in the patient’s breath to determine if there are changes in their metabolism. Hospitals are notorious for being hotbeds of infection, and Canary could play a big role in stopping those infections before they happen.

Canary is still awaiting FDA approval, but the tech is currently helping trauma and emergency patients at Ohio State and Washington universities.

Isomark’s ultimate vision is for every household to make use of its breath-analyzing tech. It’s a long way from being sold in Apple stores, but someday you might be able to breathe into a tiny gadget, and your iPhone will tell you exactly how good your workout was. It’s a compelling idea — just as long as it discourages rewarding yourself with doughnuts.