Smartphones are pretty useful tools. They work as alarms, answer your front door for you, and now monitor your blood and check for signs of an impending heart attack. Well, the smartphones themselves won’t monitor your blood, but they will be able to alert you to any potentially problematic things happening in there. Scientists at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland have gone ahead and invented the smallest medical implant in the world. It’s just 14mm long and measures things in your blood like proteins, glucose levels, lactate and ATP, both at rest and during activity.
The device uses Bluetooth to transmit the data right to your smartphone, where you can keep a close eye on your own blood, which is cool, but perhaps the coolest aspect is that it comes with a battery patch that provides 100 milliwatts of power via inductive charging through the skin.
Monitoring like this has a number of useful aspects, such as the ability to catch heart attacks before they happen. Often, the heart will dump a protein called troponin into the blood before a heart attack occurs. Having early knowledge of a troponin dump could allow folks to make it to a hospital and have a major impact on increasing the survival rate of heart attacks.
Take a look at the video below from EPFL for some insight on how the device works.