MIT Develops Groundbreaking Ingestible Sensor to Monitor Breathing via Intestines

Researchers at MIT developed a device that monitors heart rate, breathing, and other vital signs from within a patient’s GI tract. The device is potentially useful for detecting respiratory depression during an opioid overdose. Since conventional sleep studies require multiple sensors and devices to be connected to the patient, the MIT device will be especially beneficial for sleep studies. The device, tested in humans for the first time during a trial, transmits data through a wireless antenna and has two small batteries. The study showed that the ingestible sensor was able to measure health metrics as effectively as traditional diagnostic equipment. Importantly, there were no adverse effects associated with capsule ingestion. In the future, the device could be utilized to administer drugs such as nalmefene to reverse an overdose if breathing rate slows or stops. Further data from the studies will be released later.