A team of EPFL scientists led by Giovanni de Micheli and Sandro Carrara have developed a 14mm implant that can wirelessly monitor substances in the bloodstream, sending data directly to a doctor’s computer. The tiny device is inserted just under the skin to analyze the concentration of up to five proteins and organic acids simultaneously.
It includes five sensors, a radio transmitter, and a power delivery system. Inserted into the interstitial tissue just beneath the skin of the abdomen, legs or arms using a needle, it can remain in place for months before needing to be replaced.
The Verge reports that the device can predict heart attacks three to fours hours in advance by detecting a molecule called “troponin,” which is released by the heart muscle once it starts malfunctioning. This way, if someone has the device implanted, they would know that a heart attack is coming and could better prepare.
The scientists are going to test the device on intensive care patients, who require a lot of close monitoring, and hope it will be made available within four years. You can check out the video below to learn more: