Swiss scientists have developed a blood-reading prototype that sits beneath the skin and can send results of up to five separate tests instantly to either a patient or doctor's cellphone. The device, which has been tested on animals and in the lab so far, is inserted via a needle to the interstitial tissue of the body, where it can sit for months. It may be available for common use within four years and could even be used as an early-warning system for heart attacks.
The team, from the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, expects the invention to be used to help in the management of various conditions, including diabetes and high cholesterol, as well as for monitoring how a cancer patient is responding to a treatment like chemotherapy. It can even predict a heart attack by several hours, because it is capable of recognizing the metabolites that a heart releases when it is unhealthy.
While this may not be as noninvasive as some ideas in development, such as the blood-reading wristband concept or patches similar to nicotine-release ones, it could be a great innovation for either people with a phobia of injections or diabetes sufferers for whom the thrice-daily blood test is a strain.
[Image by Flickr user Alegrya]