I love seeing technology innovate. I’m especially fond of technologies which provide opportunities for advancing social good. Consumable microchips is one of those technologies and Elizabeth Armstrong Moore has written a great article on the topic for CNET, highlighting the impending release of Novartis/Proteus Biomedical’s consumable microchips.
Why would we want a consumable microchip? Ohh, the reasons are infinite. The implementations will probably be pretty narrow to start. Elizabeth mentions as a means of watching for organ rejection, monitoring heart rate, and so on. To these one could add monitoring the dosage of restricted substances – e.g. amphetamines (used to treat ADD, but also abused widely, especially by teens and college students).
Where I really would get psyched is in the utilization of these sorts of chips for general health monitoring. I’d love to have a microchip floating through my body monitoring my core temperature, correlating what I eat to my health, measuring bloody oxygen levels, warning about congestion issues, finding out that I’m coming down with a virus hours or days before I actually get knocked off my feet.