Tiny Pill : Monitoring Body Signs From the Inside
Just when you think medicine and technology can’t get any more incredible — in comes a tiny pill you can swallow to monitor your body temperature, heart rate, and photograph your insides.
How is this tiny pill anymore helpful than the equipment doctors use today in their offices or in the E.R.? Here’s a good example by the inventor himself, “…We can do vital sign monitoring without touching the skin,” says Swiston. “You can’t put an [electrocardiogram] on a burn victim if they don’t have any skin to apply it to. You need that information but you can’t touch them.”
The solution? A small package in a digestible form. It could safely tell any doctor what they need to know without harming or doing further damage to the victim.
This tiny monitoring system can also help soldiers in war fronts, firefighters, and athletes, just to name a few. “The devices have been used to keep NFL athletes from heatstroke and to protect firefighters and divers from reaching dangerous core temperatures. Others have used them to study sleep disorders by watching how a person’s core body temperature fluctuates over the course of a day or night.” It just makes sense to use the tiny apparatus in many situations, not just in the E.R. because you can’t just put someone in a stress chamber of potentially risky, life-threatening situations.
There’s many ways this tiny pill can help doctors, coaches, and service-men in their day-to-day routines, but the only thing holding Swinston back is getting past the “ick factor” of swallowing something (his words, not ours); people don’t usually like to swallow something, especially something that comes out looking pretty much the same. Since it is non-reusable (“It’s in one end and out the other”) the estimate will come to a cost of about $70 a pop. The pill is just in its concept stages, but there have been many pills that have shared similar attributes to Swinston’s tiny pill, what sets it apart from these ‘ingesitbles’ is that it monitors three vital signs at once, rather than just monitoring body temperature.
After all this new information, would you swallow it?
Read more about this tiny pill concept here.