I talk a lot here about new medical and health gadgets here on the MedicCast. One of the things that came up recently on my radar was an implantable monitoring chip that can be powered by one of the body’s own power systems. Our body runs on electricity, so somewhere in our system there is something generating that electricity.

Powered by Body’s Battery Power in Ear

ear-energy-chipIn the ear there is an electromechanical device that has to take sound waves, a mechanical input, and turn it into a an electrical input that can be received by the brain. The folks at MIT have created a chip that can use this tiny little, organic battery to power a chip that can send signals from an implanted device to an external receiver. Then you wouldn’t have to have a battery implanted inside a person and they could have devices implanted on a long-term basis.

Think of all the things we have that have batteries in implanted devices. If there was a way to harness the body’s own energy resources that would be an incredible opportunity for patients. Wouldn’t it be cool to have a smaller cardioverter/defibrillator implanted in someone’s chest? Currently, it’s so bulky, about the size of a pack of cards, and much of that size is used by the battery. Periodically, those batteries have to be replaced using the current devices.

Harnessing an internal battery or power supply would be a boon to devices like that. I think it’s pretty cool and I will continue to bring you interesting medical gadgets like this in the future. Watch for them here.


Follow-up on the links for this news item and all the links for news and additional resources in the shownotes for this episode — EMS Adenosine Med Review and Episode 315.


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