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British Airways Says It Could Distribute A ‘Digital Pill’ That Monitors Passenger Health and Happiness

Travelers Today       By    Nicole Ynayan

Updated: Nov 30, 2016 02:21 AM EST

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Modern technology has once again come up with a new way to further improve the travel industry in the form of a digestible pill monitor. British Airways may be among the first airlines to begin serving digital pills that will monitor overall passenger well-being.

The digestible sensor, designed by researchers in MIT, allows the monitoring of vitals such as stomach acid levels, body temperature, heart rate, and sleep phases. These levels are communicated via a wearable patch, attached to the patient or passenger.

The digital pill was initially designed for medical purposes and medical state monitoring. It was meant to provide doctors with ways to fully monitor their patients to see if they were following instructions regarding medication, diet, and other health practices.

As stated by Telegraph UK, the travel industry hopes that the successful implementation of this new "digital pill monitoring" will improve passenger travel experiences. Through the monitoring of these different body levels, airlines may check on passengers' states and adjust meals, temperature, and in-flight entertainment as it is fit.

The main goal of the digital pill movement is in support of British Airways' efforts to remove jet lag from passengers travelling in long cross-continent flights According to The Times, airline hopes that the pill will enable cabin crews to monitor passengers' sleep patterns and overall comfort during flights.

A similar practice has been implemented by Virgin Atlantic with the use of a patent application known as the "Jet Lag Fighter" app. The application provides a system that facilitates the control and personalization of passenger environment during flights.

British Airways believes that the gathered in-flight data could help understand and further improve passenger eating, sleeping, and positioning during travel. The proposed digestible sensors may inform crew of any impending discomfort or health conditions in passengers.

The pill is roughly the size of an almond and is composed of several small microphones encased in silicon. As stated by researchers, the pill is capable of naturally passing through the human digestive system in the span of one or two days.

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