MIT Is Developing AI to Track Sensors In Your Body

August 28, 2018 - 3 minutes read

MedTech app developerAs big tech companies like Apple, Google, and Microsoft become more interested in medical technology applications, startups are undoubtedly facing some tough competition. But that’s not stopping researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

A team at MIT’s Computer Science Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) is using wireless radio signals and AI to interact with sensors inside the body.

Multi-Faceted Microchips

Yes, you heard that correctly. MIT is already doing some major legwork for the government’s eventual requirement to track everyone using sensors. Okay, maybe that’s not officially news… and maybe a tad far-fetched… I digress.

The system, named “ReMix”, can find and interact with ingestible microchip implants. These implants can be used to track digestion problems, deliver drugs to specific body parts, watch tumors move and grow, and much more. In initial testing, the Boston-based developers integrated microchips into a fake tumor that was placed in different animal tissues, like chicken, pork belly, chicken fat, or fake human tissue.

MIT professor Dina Katabi led the team with her previous experience in using wireless equipment to track body movement, breathing, and heart rate through walls. Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital also participated in the study. And although the system is accurate to 1.4 cm in location, Katabi says hospitals want that accuracy improved to be within millimeters.

With higher accuracy, more applications with the ReMix system will be possible, like assisting in proton therapy, which utilizes radiation to treat cancer. Since it’s imperative to know the status and location of the cancer in proton therapy, ReMix could help reduce errors and harm to patients.

A Bright Future for Embedded Devices

Katabi’s team isn’t the only one working on developing MedTech applications using radio waves with implanted hardware. Another team at MIT recently announced their progress in creating a wireless way to charge devices in bodies through a method called In Vivo Networking.

At Caltech, a team is working on a sensor to be embedded in the eye to measure pressure over time and help diagnose glaucoma. And Google’s DeepMind Health program partnered with researchers and ophthalmologists from University College London and Moorfields Eye Hospital to build an AI that is 94% accurate in recommending treatment for over 50 eye diseases.

Would you let doctors put a microchip in your eye, especially if it meant it could possibly stop you from going blind? Or would you prefer a microchip in your gut to track digestion problems? It’s important to answer these questions now — the trend of tracker microchips is taking off!

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