Tiny Implant Sends Blood Test Results Directly to Mobile Phones
March 20, 2013 1:08 PM
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This could be beneficial for patients using chemotherapy, and others with chronic illnesses
Patients could soon send and receive blood test results wirelessly through a tiny implant just
beneath the skin
Researchers from École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), led by Giovanni de Micheli and Sandro Carrara, have created an implant that will deliver blood test results directly from the patient's body to the doctor's computer -- which could help those with chronic diseases manage their health more easily.
The implant is just a few cubic millimeters in volume, but is a complete medical device with many functions. It has five sensors, a radio transmitter and a power system. The device is placed just under the skin, and is able to transmit radio waves. A battery patch, which offers one-tenth watt of power, collects this data and sends it to a mobile phone via Bluetooth. From there, the data is sent to a doctor over a cellular network.
The five sensors are coated with different enzymes for detecting up to five proteins and organic acids simultaneously. Currently, the enzymes last for a month and a half, which is long enough for normal testing periods.
Once the enzymes expire, the implant is easily removed and replaced if needed.
A minimally invasive device like this could be handy for doctors looking to keep an eye on chemotherapy dosage tolerance in patients, and thus adjust accordingly. It could also help doctors keep an eye on glucose levels in diabetics.
For patients, this could help eliminate some of the time-consuming and costly doctor's appointments and lab work fees for blood tests. It will also help them adjust their medication (if they can) and receive better overall treatment.
This device is expected to be commercially available in about four years.
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3/21/2013 8:57:49 AM
That was the first thing I thought of when I saw the headline. There have been some articles on this artificial pancreas idea; ie: closed loop between insulin pump and glucose monitor.
Definitely seems like simply a matter of time before it's ready for use.
I will certainly be happy if I never have to prick my fingers again. I've been doing it for almost 20 years and I still hate it.
3/21/2013 1:46:19 PM
35 years myself...Type I
I know there's FDA requirements that the non-invasive glucose monitoring needs to be equal or greater in accuracy than a finger-prick method.
Tie in an automatic insulin delivery system... wow, talk about RED TAPE.
But I'd be more than happy with a monitor that would show me my glucose level and let me dose accordingly.
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