October 4, 2005

Finns develop microchip to detect heart problems

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Finnish researchers are developing a
microchip that keeps track of heart activity under the
patient's skin and can alert doctors to any health problems,
but testing it on humans could still be some way off.

The working group, led by professor Jukka Lekkala at
Tampere University of Technology, has been working on a
wireless device for measuring health data for several years and
is planning to test the prototypes of the chip on cows later
this year.

"We have a couple of prototypes now. We will implant them
in cows at the end of the year. We still have to find suitable
coating materials," Lekkala told Reuters.

"Testing these devices on humans is not part of this
research project, and we don't have a clear time frame for when
this could happen," he added.

The devices can measure electrocardiogram signals, heart
rate or other health parameters and transmit the data, and
could also be used to send an alarm in case urgent treatment is