Swallowable e-pill sensors coming soon

Swallowable pills that contain sensors could be just around the corner. A company called Proteus Biomedical is working with Qualcomm to build both pills and patches that can monitor your vital signs and send them to a mobile device.

The idea is that those with chronic health problems can be kept an eye on - these "smart" pills can tell if you're taking your medication or not, and notify either you or your doctor/nurse. However, the pills and patches can also be used as more of a preventative option - one of the first signs of cardiac arrest is a buildup of body liquid and the sensors embedded inside can detect this.

The sensors contained in the pills and patches can monitor temperature, motion, respiration and your heart rate. The pills have a "wet battery" that's activated when it hits your stomach, and the patch contains an external battery. Both connect wirelessly to an external unit, like a mobile phone, which then uploads your data to a private database on the Web.

The company says that it's seeing interest from healthcare organisations across the world, but that the UK's NHS was yet to bite. Developing countries like China are expected to be the first to try out these new technologies, as they don't have the established infrastructure of more developed nations.

Would you take a "smart pill" that monitors your vitals? Or is that a little too creepy? Tell us in the comments box below.