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October 8, 2010 / Martijn

Body organs can send status updates to your cellphone

For cardiac patients such as myself, too much excitement can be a shocking experience. If my heart rate gets too high the implanted defibrillator in my chest can think I’m having a heart attack and give me a friendly remedial shock. But such nasty surprises could soon become less of a concern for people like me – by giving our hearts their very own IP addresses.

Dutch research organisation IMEC, based in Eindhoven, this week demonstrated a new type of wireless body area network (BAN). Dubbed the Human++ BAN platform, the system converts IMEC’s ultra-low-power electrocardiogram sensors into wireless nodes in a short-range network, transmitting physiological data to a hub – the patient’s cellphone. From there, the readings can be forwarded to doctors via a Wi-Fi or 3G connection. They can also be displayed on the phone or sound an alarm when things are about to go wrong, giving patients like me a chance to try to slow our heart rates and avoid an unnecessary shock.

via Body organs can send status updates to your cellphone – tech – 08 October 2010 – New Scientist.

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