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So...you swallow this small pill which contains a microchip...and the chip sticks to the heart...and its signals are viewed on a computer screen far far away from you...
the computer beeps and alerts when it knows the heart isnt beating anymore (like the way it happens during cardiac arrest)...immediately
send the emergency medic team to try and rescue the person...
now...look at it in large scale....millions of people using this pill...millions of 'heart status' tracked on computer screen....an audio/visual alert will trigger the hospital where you took the pill to send the medic immediately...most of the people suffering from cardiac arrest can be saved if treated on time...but unfortunately the sufferers cannot alert their family nor their doctor in that crucial time....
Cardiac Moniter Implant
Baked to a golden brown. [Alterother, Jul 26 2011]
||How does the pill get from the gastro-intestinal system into the cardio-vascular system? i.e. How does it bury through inches of solid flesh and membrane to get from one part of the body (your gut) into another (your heart)? How does it do this without leaving a life-threatening internal puncture of the gut-wall?
||Why not use something less invasive, or if you are going to actually attach something to the heart (presumably for those people who are most at risk) then why not link it with a device that regulates heartbeat, like a pacemaker?
||Another question: how does it communicate with the computer far, far away? It'll need some kind of antenna, preferably without any conductive human innards between it and the base station.
||...and once this 'chip' has got from your
gastro-intestinal system to your heart and set up its aerial, and managed to fix itself to the artery wall in such a way that does not perturb blood flow *at all* (because otherwise you'll get still areas of blood flow, clots will form and break off and you'll die in great pain with an embolism), how does it power itself?
||I think it could burrow through the oesophagus.
Whether it should is another matter. It would in
any case be sensitive to the electrical activity of
the heart, so if it could distinguish between
peristalsis in the oesophagus and that, once it
detected a peak in heart signals it could simply
stop by sticking out spikes, burrow its way
through into the chest cavity, do the same
through the pericardium and adhere to the heart.
This would of course cause something like cardiac
tamponade and possibly also achalasia, as well as
an infection, but it could maybe kick the heart
back into action if there was an arrest.
||//kick the heart back into action if there was an
arrest// That's an AICD (automatic implantable
cardiac defibrillator). The requirement for a
precludes miniaturization to the point where it
could be swallowed.
||//burrow its way through into the chest cavity, do
the same through the pericardium and adhere to
heart// What an image.
||I have a better one. Perhaps it could be delivered by
a squid-like alien with acidic blood that attaches to
your face, and then comes bursting forth out of your
chest during dinner?
||Trained telepathic guinea worm. Actually, some parasitic nematodes actively leave their host when they detect a loss of vital signs, so perhaps that's not as ridiculous as it first seemed.