A Heart Attack Early Warning System

It could soon be a reality:

A team of Swiss researchers is putting the finishing touches on a truly amazing little gadget. It’s a tiny, 14-millimeter-long mini-spaceship of a device that’s embedded just under your skin and held in place with an adhesive patch. The “tiny, portable personal blood testing laboratory,” as the researchers describe it, then detects the data about the presence of up to five proteins and organic acids. Using Bluetooth, it then transmits that data to a nearby smartphone, essentially giving the host an unprecedented amoung of real-time information about her health. The best part? It’ll cost less than a dollar.

One way this system could save lives:

“There is a molecule called troponin that is released by the heart muscle just three to four hours before the heart attack, once the heart muscle starts malfunctioning,” wrote Sandro Carrara, one of the leaders of a team at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), in an email to The Verge. “Our system could detect this molecule three/four hours in advance of the fatal event.”