If you need a reminder this morning that we totally live in the future already, here it is. Swiss researchers have unveiled a 14 millimeter long implantable lab on a chip that can monitor blood chemistry in patients and use wireless signals to alert their doctors if anything looks amiss. It’s still in the early stages of development, but if it’s successful, the device could one day be used to monitor the progress of patients with chronic diseases, keep tabs on the results of chemotherapy in cancer patients, and even as an early warning system for heart attacks and strokes. Get a look at it and hear what it can do from the people who built it in the video below.
Taking up just a few cubic millimeters of space, the implant boasts five sensors that can be tuned to react to almost any chemical in the body, simply by changing the enzymes that they carry on them. The implant also hosts a wireless induction coil that lets it pull power from a patch worn on the skin, meaning doctors won’t have to remove and reimplant the device every time the battery needs charging. And somewhere, researchers at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) found room for a radio transmitter. That transmitter sends the results of your blood tests to your phone via Bluetooth, which in turn sends the information to your doctor.
It will be a few years before we see this one in the wild, certainly, but it’s a pretty awesome start.
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