Swiss scientists have developed a tiny implant that warns of a heart attack a few hours before it takes place.
The 14-mm device can be easily implanted under the skin. It regularly measures five indicators, including proteins such as troponin, whose elevated levels signal myocardial injury.
The implant sends information to a smartphone or a computer via the Bluetooth wireless device and gives raise to an alarm when it encounters disturbing results.
Besides being able to recognize the early signs of a heart attack, it can also monitor the level of blood glucose, lactate, and ATP, providing useful physiological information during physical activity or chronic conditions such as diabetes.
The chip is provided with seven biochemical sensors, and should be placed at a depth of about one centimeter under the skin.
Sensors monitor specific molecules such as glucose and cholesterol, depending on what doctors are looking for.
The chip was developed by the Federal Polytechnic Institute in Lausanne by the team of Dr. Giovanni de Micheli.
He points out that except for “early warning”, the implant can be used to monitor patients’ recovery after surgery in real time.