Scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology at the University of West Virginia have developed a capsule that can monitor a person’s vital signs while in the gastrointestinal tract.
According to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the capsule that the patient has to swallow is the size of a regular pill. The capsule contains two small batteries and a wireless antenna that transmits data to an external device, such as a laptop.
The capsule uses an accelerometer to measure the patient’s breathing and heart rate. According to the researchers, the use of such a device during sleep can be useful for diagnosing apnea (a disorder in which breathing stops repeatedly during sleep). and tracking other respiratory risks: asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
The capsule will also be used to detect opioid overdoses in high-risk individuals.
“The stomach, as a rule, gives some of the most accurate signals, since it is located near the heart and lungs,” – says Giovanni Traverso, the study’s senior author and a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
According to the scientists, 10 participants of the capsule test did not experience any side effects: it passed safely through the digestive tract.
Until now, to diagnose sleep disorders, particularly sleep apnea, patients had to spend the night in a sleep lab, where they were connected to various sensors and monitors. Now this process will be much simpler, scientists say.
Over the past decade, scientists have developed a number of swallowing sensors that can be used to monitor vital signs and diagnose disorders or slow-downs of the gastrointestinal tract, bowel disease, and more.
We will remind you that earlier we told 21 facts about sleep that may surprise you.
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