If industry giant Kodak gets its way, doctors will be able to spy on your gastric motility and artificial joints with new edible RFID tags.
Inventors keep coming up with new ways to exploit RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags. The latest brainwave, from Kodak, is to use them to probe a person’s digestive system.
RFID tags are tiny radio chips that resonate with a single echo when hit with a radio trigger. Kodak’s digestible tags are harmless and intentionally fragile. The tags would be covered with soft gelatin that takes a while to dissolve in the stomach. After swallowing a tag a patient need only sit next to a radio source and receiver.
They stop working when exposed to gastric acid for a specific period of time, providing a subtle way to monitor a patient’s digestive tract.
Kodak says that similar radio tags could also be embedded in an artificial knee or hip joint in such a way that they disintegrate as the joint does, warning of the need for more surgery. Attaching tags to ordinary pills could also help nurses confirm that a patient has really taken their medicine as ordered.