Ingestible capsule can be controlled wirelessly

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Electronic pill can relay diagnostic information or release drugs in response to smartphone commands

Researchers at MIT, Draper, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital have designed an ingestible capsule that can be controlled using Bluetooth wireless technology. The capsule, which can be customized to deliver drugs, sense environmental conditions, or both, can reside in the stomach for at least a month, transmitting information and responding to instructions from a user’s smartphone.

The capsules, manufactured using 3-D-printing technology, could be deployed to deliver drugs to treat a variety of diseases, particularly in cases where drugs must be taken over a long period of time. They could also be designed to sense infections, allergic reactions, or other events, and then release a drug in response.

“Our system could provide closed-loop monitoring and treatment, whereby a signal can help guide the delivery of a drug or tuning the dose of a drug,” says Giovanni Traverso, a visiting scientist in MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, where he will be joining the faculty in 2019.

These devices could also be used to communicate with other wearable and implantable medical devices, which could pool information to be communicated to the patient’s or doctor’s smartphone.

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The 10 most incredible medical breakthroughs of 2018

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From medical drones to the first FDA-approved cannabis drug, innovative research continues to transform the future of health care.

In a tech-obsessed world, it’s only natural to ponder all the ways technology might actually be damaging your health. Is social media a trigger for depression? Could your cell phone start a fire while you sleep? Can reading a computer screen all day ruin your vision? It’s easy to get caught up in that downward spiral of thinking.

However, nestled in between all the negatives is an incredible world of positives. Technology only continues to advance in ways that can completely transform the future of health care. Just last year, scientists made progress in learning how to regenerate body parts, detect pancreatic cancer earlier, and relieve pain via virtual reality, Prevention reported.

This past year has proven to be an equally exciting time for innovative research. Here, some of the most striking medical breakthroughs of 2018 that have the potential to change your life.

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