Researchers at MIT CSAIL have developed a device that may best be described as a kind of GPS to track things inside a human body.


They call the system ReMix, and it would make it possible to locate exactly where a pill is located inside a person’s intestinal tract. It is also said that future versions of the system could be used to locate tumors in a human body and then might treat cancer on a more precisely defined part of a human body than what is the case today.

ReMix uses radio waves to determine where an implant or pill is currently in a human body. The system is so far at the early stages of development and the researchers state that the algorithms you use may need to be modified slightly depending on exactly what a doctor wants to follow inside a patient’s body.

In animal tests, the team demonstrated that they can track the implants with centimeter-level accuracy. The team says that, one day, similar implants could be used to deliver drugs to specific regions in the body.

There are still many challenges ahead for improving ReMix. The team next hopes to combine the wireless data with medical information like MRI scans to further improve the system’s accuracy. In addition, the team will continue to reassess the algorithm and the various trade-offs needed to account for the complexity of different peoples’ bodies.

ReMix was developed in collaboration with researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). The team describes the system in a paper that’s being presented at this week’s Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Data Communications (SIGCOMM) conference in Budapest, Hungary