I was out running errands yesterday, tuned the radio to NPR (National Public Radio) and once again got my "NPR fix", learning something new.
It seems a team of researchers at MIT have developed a little electronic pill that, when swallowed, passes through the gastrointestinal tract, then monitors your breathing, heart beat, core body temperature, and tells you what's going on inside your body! Sponsored by the Department of Defense, this electronic pill will be used on our soldiers in war zones. The military has found that soldiers who have been exposed to extreme heat and extreme cold suffer damage to their liver and kidneys. This new electronic pill will allow military medics to monitor core temperatures using a monitor the size of a deck of cards. It will also be used to monitor trauma from war injuries.
But, of course, as with much of both Defense Department, and NASA research, this electronic pill is expected to have widespread application in the civilian world. Some school athletic departments are already testing the pill to monitor health conditions of athletes....to measure accelerated or abnormal heat beats, to determine the risk of heat stroke, etc. The electronic pill now costs $30 dollars to produce but the price will drop dramatically when it is put in mass production.
Medical experts expect this pill to cut hospital stays following operations. The patient will be given one of these electronic pills to monitor for post op infections and to monitor vital signs that might indicate further medical attention.
Since this little magical electronic diagnostic pill only stays in the gastrointestinal tract for one or two days (ought to make for interesting bowel movements!), the MIT researchers are heartened by its capacity for wide spread use since mass production will bring down the cost to the equivalent of a Latte at Starbucks.
Okay, kiddies...go back to what ever you were doing...just thought I'd educate you heathens who don't listen to NPR. smile emoticon