Using technology invented at MIT, doctors may one day be able to monitor patients’ vital signs by having them swallow an ingestible electronic device that measures heart rate and breathing rate from within the gastrointestinal tract.
Moreover, MIT’s ingestible health sensor is a pill-sized autonomous device that utilizes a miniature microscope in order to measure acoustic waves produced by the beat of your heart and the rise and fall of your lungs.
The health sensor can then wirelessly transmit your heart and breathing rate data to an external receiver, enabling your doctor to download and analyze your vitals at any time.
So far, the health sensor prototype has proven to be effective in pigs and the engineers behind the device plan to start human trials soon.
The most obvious applications for an ingestibel health sensor that can continuously monitor our bodily functions are monitoring athletes or soldiers, in addition to diagnosing heart conditions or breathing problems more efficiently.