There are many ways that one can track their health and fitness. You can rely on activity bands to count your steps, distance run, and some can even measure your heart rate to see if it is within a healthy range. However if you wanted more complex and detailed information on how your body performs, how does the idea of swallowing a sensor sound to you?

Researchers at MIT have recently developed an ingestible sensor which as the name implies, can be swallowed by the person. This is thanks to the sensors being packed into a silicone capsule that’s roughly the size of a multivitamin pill, but remember you don’t want to chew this! So what would an ingestible sensor be good for?

According to MIT, “This type of sensor could make it easier to assess trauma patients, monitor soldiers in battle, perform long-term evaluation of patients with chronic illnesses, or improve training for professional and amateur athletes.” It also “calculates heart and breathing rates from the distinctive sound waves produced by the beating of the heart and the inhalation and exhalation of the lungs.”

The sensors also serve as an alternative to wearable sensors which can be uncomfortable to wear and might restrict movement. For now the sensor will only be able to record and report information that it has gathered, but ultimately the researchers are hoping that it could one day it will be able to both diagnose problems and deliver the drug that treats it.

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