Sync Your Smartphone To Your Heart Implant

imedpicFrom a Dutch company comes a phone app that tracks your heart’s activity, and, one may assume, lets you pick a customized alert tone to sound when you enter cardiac arrest. Via Popular Science:

The new Human++ system adds one very powerful new peripheral to Android smartphones: your own body. It interprets electrocardiogram (ECG) readings, and can be used for medicinal or recreational purposes: Let your doctor know that you’re having a heart attack, or let your Facebook friends know that you’re playing basketball.

Created by Dutch research firm IMEC, Human++ is a type of wireless BAN (body area network). This particular version uses a dongle that actually plugs into your phone’s microSD slot (which is one reason it’s limited to Android–the iPhone, for one, doesn’t have a microSD slot) and receives data over a low-power radio system. Though Bluetooth is more popular, the nRF24L01+ frequency was chosen for its low power requirements. IMEC says a Bluetooth connection would barely last the day, while the RF frequency can last a week.

There are non-medical uses for the tech too–athletes and trainers are interested in the ability to remotely track the inner workings of the body in real-time. It’s not clear how the system might work with phones, like iOS, Palm WebOS, and Microsoft Windows Phone devices, that don’t have expandable microSD slots–maybe an external dongle, rather than a (neater, certainly) internal one.