Tiny implant can transmit realtime blood data to your doctor.
Researchers at Switzerlands EPFL have demonstrated a 14mm long implant, able to analyse up to five proteins and organic acids in the blood simultaneously, and transmit the data to a doctor.
The data transmission works in several stages, with the implant using radio waves to transmit to a patch on the skin (which also provides power back to the implant through the patients skin). The patch then uses bluetooth to transmit data to a smartphone, which can then feed it into a web-based database accessible by a doctor.
The implant could be particularly useful in chemotherapy applications. Currently, oncologists use occasional blood tests to evaluate their patients’ tolerance to a particular treatment dosage. In these conditions, it is very difficult to administer the optimal dose. De Micheli is convinced his system will be an important step towards better, more personalized medicine. “It will allow direct and continuous monitoring based on a patient’s individual tolerance, and not on age and weight charts or weekly blood tests.”
In patients withchronic illness, the implants could send alerts even before symptoms emerge, and anticipate the need for medication. “In a general sense, our system has enormous potential in cases where the evolution of a pathology needs to be monitored or the tolerance to a treatment tested.”