Ingestible smart sensors: body/immune system data from the inside out

From smartwatches and basic tracking bands to smart rings and head-mounted gear, wearables are everywhere this year at CES. It seems as though companies are trying to cram smart tech and sensors in to just about anything they can think of these days. But one particular avenue of this kind of technology yet to make its way to the masses is smart, connected “ingestibles”…

Soon enough we won’t need to wear a smartwatch or a fitness ring tracker, we will just swallow the sensor and get direct anatomy/body system metrics from the inside out. Researchers have recently made giant leaps towards this becoming a reality..

Researchers at RMIT University in Australia have recently conducted several successful tests with a new, swallowable smart sensor. It has already made it through initial human trials and is already offering important data to the medical and scientific communities.

Roughly the size of a large vitamin, the tiny ingestible is specifically designed to change the way the medical world treats stomach diseases and digestion disorders. Early data from tests have yielded some pretty groundbreaking results in the way we understand the human body, more specifically, immune systems and stomach microbiology.

According to the research group, “the stomach releases oxidising chemicals to break down and beat foreign compounds that are staying in the stomach for longer than usual.” Apparently these kinds of “immune mechanism[s] have never been reported before.”

Well it is always nice to hear about any kind of medical advancements that could replace dangerous and expensive surgeries, not to mention the overall implication for those suffering from stomach related issues. But it is the future of ingestible sensors that has us most excited.

It feels like Apple’s iPill whole body smart sensor is just a few keynotes away at this point. Ok that’s not quite true, but the team is already looking at ways to commercialize its technology, so it isn’t all that crazy to imagine where some of the big tech giants and fitness/health companies could take this down the line.

The research group at RMIT is partnering up with Planet Innovation’s development team to look into ways to bring the tech to market. No official plans have been announced just yet.

Stay locked to Toys as the week rolls on for all the best announcements from CES 2018.

Source: ScienceDaily

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