About the episode
A sensor in the form of a pill that you can swallow and that comes out automatically: Researchers from MIT, among others, have been working hard on this. And with success.
Similar applications have been used for some time. For example, there are pill-sized cameras that a person can swallow and through which the intestines can be examined non-invasively.
This new design is more for taking measurements. More specifically, the device measures tiny vibrations in the body that indicate breathing and heart rate. From within the digestive system, a sensor bead can indicate whether a person is still breathing or not.
The pill has already been tested on 10 people who participated in a study on sleep apnea. This made it possible to accurately monitor breathing and heart rate during sleep. At the end of the study, the device was also safely removed by participants.
The idea is that people are already used to taking pills, they can be easily prescribed by doctors and do not require expensive medical intervention. It also makes research possible in a much more natural environment than a laboratory, clinic or hospital.
The researchers, who all have an interest in the company that wants to produce this medical application – it is worth noting – believe that in the future it should also be possible to leave the pill in the body for a little longer.
Medications may also be added. This is interesting, for example, if pills are used for intensive use of painkillers. In the event of an overdose, help can then be provided immediately.
Read more about the research here: First human clinical trial of pill-sized device that monitors breathing from the gut