A new kind of “intelligent pill” could put a microprocessor and all sorts of other computer technology right into your body — and all you have to do is take one big gulp.

Philips, a Dutch hospital equipment maker, will show off its so-called “iPill” at a conference in Atlanta this month. In addition to the microprocessor, the thing has a battery and a wireless radio embedded inside. And you thought they couldn’t make computer equipment any smaller.

The point of the pill is to find a specific location inside your body, then release medication at the exact right moment. That’ll let it target areas where diseases like Crohn’s or even colon cancer exist — something that hasn’t before been possible. The iPill can also report its progress to a receiver outside the body via its built-in radio. It’s basically like the camera pill that’s been around for a while, except way more advanced. Most notably, the camera pill couldn’t deliver drugs, so its implications were fairly limited.

Pretty exciting stuff, from both a medical and a technological perspective. Wonder if a few tweaks could let the iPill get online? I’ll have my stomach e-mail you later about a lunch meeting.

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