Swiss researchers have unveiled a prototype “lab on a chip” that is surgically implanted in the interstitial tissue just beneath the skin, where it analyzes compounds in the blood, and sends results to a phone or tablet through wireless radio connections.
How does it work? The microchip has seven chemical & molecular sensors and gets inductive power from a patch worn on top of the skin. Every 10 minutes the collected data is sent through the patch and a Bluetooth connection to a patient or doctor via smartphone or tablet.
Although the device will not be widely available for at least a few years, its potential practical applications are widespread and include:
- Glucose monitoring in diabetics, more frequently and without a finger prick.
- Post surgery patient monitoring
- Facilitate predictive medicine, including a pending heart attack
- Measure metabolism and drug absorption
- Athletes monitoring fluids & nutrition