A Future with Wireless Medical Implants

connected person

In the future, patients and doctors will monitor health with data collected constantly inside the body and beamed directly to their mobile device or computer.

GigaOM has a nice article on the future of wireless medical devices and how it would connect you into an internet ecosystem

People might at first feel squeamish about letting a device live inside them and wirelessly transmit large amounts of personal data, but implants open up treatment resources that quickly outweigh any risks and drawbacks. And researchers are spending lots of time trying to make implants impervious to hacking. Giovanni de Micheli, director of the Institute of Electrical Engineering at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale in Lausanne, Switzerland, said safety concerns are already being addressed in current technology like pacemakers. As a result, measures will be in place by the time the next generation of implants hits the market.

People with diabetes must manage their diet and rely on synthetic insulin to prevent life-threatening complications. Most people monitor their blood sugar levels by pricking their finger and feeding a drop of blood into a glucose meter. Then a syringe is used to inject the necessary amount of insulin.

Medical devices are already beginning to automate this process. A sensor inserted under the skin can monitor glucose levels constantly and alert users when their blood sugar is too high. Insulin pumps use a tiny tube inserted into the body to deliver insulin without a syringe.

Product development firm Cambridge Consultants and the Institute of Metabolic Science at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge are working on an artificial pancreas system that would connect the glucose meter and insulin pump wirelessly, creating an autonomous system that monitors and corrects blood sugar levels. No input from a patient or doctor would be necessary. The devices’ data would be relayed via a smartphone or tablet, which would make minute-by-minute analytics available.

Read the full article here



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