Electronic Pills

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Context: An electronic pill to measure the endurance levels of athletes will be trialed at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, which starts from September 27.

Relevance: 
Prelims: Science & Technology
Mains: GS III- Science and Technology: developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.

Electronic pill: 

  • Scientists have developed an indigestible electronic pill to measure the endurance levels of athletes. The capsule – standard-sized, weighing 1.7 gram – will pass through the stomach, into the large intestine. From there, it will record the body’s core temperature.
  • Researchers argue that this is a more dignified and reliable method to measure the core temperature rather than inserting a rectal thermometer. They hope that the data compiled will help them investigate the effects of hot weather conditions on elite athletes, which will, in turn, be used to protect them during next year’s Tokyo Olympics where concerns have been raised over athletes’ safety due to possible heat exhaustion.
  • Male and female athletes competing in the 10,000m, marathon, 20km, and 50km race-walk events have volunteered to be part of the study, according to the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), which is conducting the research. These events are considered to be of high risk, given September temperatures in Doha generally, hover around 35 degrees Celsius.
  • IAAF claims that the e-pill is harmless and will be excreted out of the system within 48 hours of consumption. Athletes will receive individual information on their personal results, profile and hydration status, as well as how they compare to the average of their competitors. 



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