Despite Fertility Apps’ Rising Popularity, Critics Say They’re Just A Fancy Twist On Decades-Old Rhythm Method
More and more young women are relying on the technology, but is it effective as contraception? Some experts are skeptical. In other health technology news: the future of artificial intelligence, and a swallow-able sensor to check your digestive health.
The Wall Street Journal:
Fertility Apps Are Multiplying. But Are They Reliable?
More women are counting on their smartphones to help them avoid getting pregnant—a trend that has some experts worried. As people increasingly turn to technology to monitor everything from their sleep to heart palpitations, apps that help women track their fertility are taking off, particularly among millennials, even as questions swirl about their reliability as a sole form of birth control. (Chaudhuri, 5/24)
Artificial Intelligence Is Evolving Fast. Can The FDA Keep Up?
The use of artificial intelligence in medicine is accelerating rapidly, and large companies — from Google, to Amazon, to Microsoft — are dedicating huge sums to developing novel products that offer big rewards, and equally large risks. The Food and Drug Administration has already approved three products this year that use AI to help diagnose health problems, including one Thursday that detects wrist fractures. And some companies, like IBM, have put their products on the market without agency signoff. (Ross, 5/25)
The Associated Press:
Gut Check: Swallowed Capsule Could Spot Trouble, Send Alert
Scientists have developed a swallowed capsule packed with tiny electronics and millions of genetically engineered living cells that might someday be used to spot health problems from inside the gut. The capsule was tested in pigs and correctly detected signs of bleeding, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology reported Thursday in the journal Science. (Johnson, 5/24)
Swallow This: A Sensor Could Monitor Gut Health Via Engineered Bacteria — And Beam Results To A Smartphone
Researchers have devised a new way to get a sneak peek into what’s going on deep in your digestive system, creating a swallowable sensor that, with the help of engineered bacteria and a tiny electrical circuit, can detect the presence of molecules that might be signs of disease and then beam the results to a smartphone app. The device, which scientists validated in pigs, remains a prototype and needs to be refined before it could be used in people. But the researchers, who reported their work Thursday in the journal Science, combined innovations in synthetic biology and microelectronics to create a modular platform that could be adapted to identify a wide range of molecules. (Joseph, 5/24)