It’s official, we are living in a bizarre Jetson’s future age. Doctors and scientists have worked together to create an ingestible computer, that basically puts Google Glass to shame. The pill-form objects contain tiny sensors that help monitor the health of your body. The pills can collect data on how your systems are running, and transmit that information back to an external computer.
Several companies are currently working on pill prototypes. Just this last year, Proteus Digital Health raised more than $60 million dollars to create their version of a computer pill, which is actually powered by the body. Rather than an internal battery system, the pill has copper and magnesium ends which generates electricity to power itself via stomach acids. The Proteus model requires that users wear a special patch that transmits information from inside the body to a cell phone app that tracks everything from blood pressure to body temperature to movement and rest patterns.
The development could have huge implications for everything from the monitoring of heart disease and diabetes, to the progress of schizophrenia or Alzheimer’s. That’s great news for people who have chronic diseases that need to be managed; doctors and family members could potentially be connected to the system to help monitor the health of a loved one. But it also could spell trouble when it comes to privacy issues surrounding health information. After all, some of this data could be used to justify dropping or denying physically compromised patients from their insurance plans. Keep reading »