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Dr. Dre, MD, NWA

2012-02-03

Co.Exist

Booming System Monitors Your Health With Sick Beats

A new medical sensor can be powered by remote vibrations—especially those found in hip-hop. Grab your insurance card and head immediately to the nearest car stereo installation center. Dr. Dre will see you now.

You’re in the process of being diagnosed with incontinence. Would you rather sit in the hospital with a catheter stuck inside of your bladder for hours, or listen to Lil Wayne’s "6 Foot 7 Foot" at home on volume 11? Researchers—with a bit too much time on their hands—have pondered this very question, and they’ve figured out how to power implantable medical sensors with beats by Dre.

The news comes from Purdue University, where scientists have developed an implantable medical sensor powered by acoustic waves. Problem is, the cantilever that powers the sensor only vibrates (and generates electricity to be stored) when stimulated by music in the 200 to 500 hertz range—the exact range of the thumping bass beats often used in hip-hop.

Purdue professor Babak Ziaie explains in a statement: "The music reaches the correct frequency only at certain times, for example, when there is a strong bass component. The acoustic energy from the music can pass through body tissue, causing the cantilever to vibrate." Ziaie actually experimented with using jazz, rock, rap, and blues, and found that rap’s bass booms are most effective. A plain tone inside the frequency range could also work—but it would probably be a lot more annoying.

2 Live Strong [Image: Flickr user jeroen020]

The rap-powered device can monitor pressure in the urinary bladder and in blood vessel sacks damaged by aneurysms, making it a potential diagnostic tool for incontinence and lingering aneurysm issues. One day, the sensor might even be able to treat incontinence by triggering the spinal cord to close the sphincter, redefining the concept of "booty rap."

So, when this comes to market, instead of sitting on a gurney with a catheter unpleasantly inside their bladder for hours, patients could have the pressure sensor inserted, go home, and kick it to Big Boi’s "General Patton." They would only have to listen to music for a few minutes every hour to get the monitoring data that doctors need. But they’re encouraged to freestyle.

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