Whoops, I forgot to swallow my computer today

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

You know, back in the day, technology gadgets were huge! I don’t mean the popular kind of huge, I mean super ginormous huge! That’s right, computers used to take up entire rooms, and mobile phones were the size of household phones. It would be easy to understand if you didn’t know that. I mean, come on, laptops are so thin, you can carry them in your backpack. And phones are so small, it’s easy to lose them around the house.

In fact, gadgets are getting so small, we might accidentally swallow them!

Oh, did I say accidentally? What I meant to say was companies, researchers, and scientists are making computers small enough to pack into a pill, so that you can put sensors and transmitters in your body on purpose! However, this isn’t some evil science experiment where they’ll track us like rats in a lab.

These tiny pill-sized computers will be put inside a medicine capsule, and once they’re in your body, they can monitor your health! The transmitters will wirelessly send you information – say to your phone – about your body in a matter of seconds.

A company called Proteus Digital Health has made a pill that doesn’t even need a battery, but works by using the energy already in your body. This pill is intended for people who need to take a lot of medicine, and will keep track of the medicines they take every day. It can even analyze the body to see if different medications would be better for the user!

Military personnel, athletes, firefighters, and even astronauts have used the CorTemp Ingestible Core Body Temperature Sensor – manufactured by HQ Inc – to monitor their body temperature and make sure they don’t overheat when they are doing their jobs.

Though these examples of computer pills are still in the early prototype stages, companies foresee them being used more widely for health monitoring in the future. Maybe in a couple of years, doctors will prescribe these pills when you are sick, right alongside of your regular medicine.  As you leave their office, they may say, “Don’t you forget to swallow your computer!”