Researchers have developed an ingestible device, known as the VM Pill, capable of monitoring vital signs such as breathing and heart rate from inside the human body. Described in the journal Device, this breakthrough offers a convenient and accessible means of healthcare, particularly for individuals at risk of opioid overdose.
The VM Pill, designed for easy ingestion, works by monitoring body vibrations associated with breathing and heartbeat. In testing, the device successfully detected cessation of breathing in pigs under anesthesia and in human subjects with sleep apnea. The VM Pill exhibited an accuracy of 92.7% in monitoring respiration rate and at least 96% accuracy in monitoring heart rate compared to external devices.
The promising results suggest potential applications in conditions like opioid overdose, with future modifications aimed at enabling long-term monitoring and drug delivery to automatically address symptoms upon detection.