Cellphones are the under-appreciated work horses of the medical industry, doing everything from transmitting ECG data to your doctor, to managing your diabetes and keeping tabs on your alcoholic liver. Well, now we have more cell phone uses that you didn’t know you couldn’t live without until now:
Engadget is reporting that the Department of Homeland Security is considering equipping government employees with cellphones capable of detecting radiological, biological, and chemical weapons.
Homeland Security Department officials are looking into outfitting cell phones with tiny, sensitive detectors that would alert the government and emergency responders to the presence of radiological isotopes, toxic chemicals and deadly biological agents such as anthrax.
“”If it’s successful, it’ll change the way chemical, biological and radiation detection is done,” says Rolf Deitrich, deputy director of the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency, which invests in high-tech solutions to secure the nation against terrorist attacks. ”It’s a really, really neat thing.”
Deitrich says it’s way too early to know whether the idea would work, and department officials are just beginning talks with phone companies, privacy advocates and researchers. If it does work, he says, it could be a “”game-changer” in how the nation recognizes and responds to a deadly attack.
Meanwhile, Gizmodo has it on good authority that the cellphone giant BenQ is planning on a cell phone that can monitor your body fat percentage. Apparently, the technology is very similar to body impedance devices on gym equipment which require you to touch two electrodes. Unfortunately, BenQ says a cellphone that also nags you about your increased weight is several years away…