Mar 25, 2013
A new device currently being designed in Switzerland looks like it may hold enormous potential for the future of medical care. A research team at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne is currently in the process of refining a tiny 14-millimeter robot instrument which would be implanted in an individual’s bloodstream and monitor a wide range of different elements of their blood composition. At present, the device is intended to measure the presence of up to five different types of compounds, though future improvements could increase that number.
The reason this appears so promising for the future of medical care is that one of the molecules which could be traced by the device, troponin, is released by the body several hours before a heart attack occurs. As soon as the device detects this molecule, it could send an alert to the individual’s smartphone, through Bluetooth capabilities, which would let them know that a heart attack is imminent.
There are a wide range of different reasons why this could prove amazingly effective in preventing fatalities from heart attacks. For one, it could allow individuals to get medical attention before the attack occurs, which could help to prevent most of the worst consequences of a cardiac event. Furthermore, it could help to prevent medical mistakes like doctors failing to diagnose a heart attack, which remains a serious problem today.
While the technology isn’t available to the public yet, one more feature stands out in showing its revolutionary potential: estimated costs for the device are less than one dollar.