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Body Hackers Implant Homemade Health Monitor

Tim Cannon had the Circadia implanted into his forearm (image via Grindhouse Wetwares Facebook)

Tim Cannon had the Circadia implanted into his forearm (image via Grindhouse Wetwares Facebook)

Grindhouse Wetwares, a grinder collective dedicated to creating open source biohacking technology, recently revealed that they've implanted a first-generation model of their Human Embedded Light Emitting Diode Display (HELEDD), codenamed Circadia – a device that can read biomedical data in realtime and transfer it via Bluetooth. “Instead of taking snapshots of your health by visiting a doctor, you can aggregate weeks or months of medical data that you can store for your personal viewing,” Grindhouse's website says. “Messages, warnings, or texts from your Android phone to Circadia implant can be displayed via LEDs through your skin.”

Circadia was conceived in late 2011 as an intermediate step between two other Grindhouse projects codenamed Project BottleNose, an attempt at developing a personal sonar system, and Project SouthPaw++, “an implantable device capable of mining biological data and linking to a compass or Google Maps.”
Tim Cannon, a member of Grindhouse Wetwares who resides in Pittsburgh, had the device implanted in his forearm this week at a body modification event in Germany and shared some videos of it on YouTube. Unfortunately, the power for the device has drained very quickly, but Cannon demonstrates that it can be charged using a charging coil.
Wireless Medical Devices East with take place November 5-7, and feature 2 days of conferences on the latest in wireless and patient monitoring technologies.
The current version of Circadia is limited in scope and features a LED clock for displaying time, sensors to measure temperature and pulse, a Bluetooth communications module, processor, and data storage. While the central unit is about the
The Circadia implant. (image via Lucas Dimoveo /GrindHouse Wetwares Facebook)
size of a BIC lighter according to Grindhouse, all these materials together make the implant comparatively large and rather painful looking (not to mention life threatening) to have implanted - especially since this was an implantation done by body modification artists and not medical professionals.
Grindhouse stresses that Circadia is intended to be an art piece and proof of concept and not a medical device. As such the group will likely not be seeking any sort of regulatory approval to sell the device. There are certainly less invasive and easier ways of capturing the data supplied by Circadia, but the concept, if it could be made smaller and able to collect more types of data, could demonstrate the viability of implants for collecting mhealth and personal data – as long as patient-consumers have the stomach for it.
Grindhouse has created a Wiki for Circadia complete with source code for the project.



-Chris Wiltz, Associate Editor, MD+DI
[email protected]

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