May 2008
In this issue
In-body Sensors on the Near Horizon?

Sometime in the next 20 years, when your body begins to tell you something, it may be information taken from in-body sensors. That's according to a report from the Office of Communications, known as Ofcom - the UK's independent regulator of competition in its television, radio, telecom and wireless communications industries. The report, titled "Tomorrow's Wireless World," features technology innovations being tested in some British cities. Dubbed "in-body networks," the term refers to a series of sensors that can be implanted in a patient's body to let physicians monitor vital functions and organs remotely. The "networks" would conceivably be able to monitor blood pressure and heart irregularities, and send vitals to caregivers wirelessly.

The Ofcom report also predicts other devices such as "on-body monitors" that could monitor certain functions and organs externally and send vital data via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to portable monitors such as a watch or cell phone. Although research and limited trials have occurred in the UK, privacy advocates raise serious concerns about privacy, not to mention the infrastructure necessary to support such technology.

Copyright 2008
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