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Implanted blood monitor can signal heart attack via smartphone

A team of scientists in Switzerland has developed the world's smallest medical implant to monitor critical chemicals in the blood that can be sent to a smartphone via Bluetooth.

Researchers at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) created the 14 mm device, which measures up to five indicators, including proteins such as troponin, that show if and when a heart attack has occurred, Extreme Tech reports.

Fatigued or oxygen-starved muscle begins to break down during the hours before a heart attack, and fragments of a heart-specific smooth muscle protein, such as troponin, are dumped into the blood, Extreme Tech reports. Lifesaving pre-emptive treatment can be initiated sooner if this change can be detected early.

The next area the team has to work on is establishing a type of ringtone for when a heart attack is imminent. They have looked into establishing a universal tone that would let bystanders know what was going on.

The EPFL is not the only type of device being developed to try and alert patients early of life-threatening medical emergencies. According to Extreme Tech, "tricorder-style blood scanners are just beginning to gain a foothold in the medical community."

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