Complete Story


This Pill Tracks Your Vitals from the Inside

An ingestible “digital pill” could detect the warning signs of many health issues

Digital health company Celero Systems is developing an electronic pill that can measure heart rate, breathing rate, and core temperature—from inside the human stomach. As a first step, the company envisions people with ongoing conditions using the digital capsule to monitor their vital signs at home. But in the future, they hope to use it as a kind of internal alarm system for drug-related overdoses.

In a small clinical trial published in November, the company tested the device on people with sleep apnea, a disorder in which breathing occasionally stops and starts at night. To get a proper diagnosis, people often need to spend the night in a hospital, where they get covered in electrodes that measure their heart rate, breathing, muscle twitches and brain activity: a comprehensive evaluation called polysomnography. This is a recipe for a crappy night’s sleep, whether you have apnea or not.

Patients instead can opt for an at-home test that involves wearing a breathing monitor on their finger overnight. But this can still cost hundreds of dollars, and it’s not always accurate. These wearables can’t measure respiration directly, just variations in heart rate presumably caused by breathing. But a pill inside the stomach can’t fall off, and it can measure lung movements internally.

Please select this link to read the complete article from WIRED.

Printer-Friendly Version