British Airways To Develop ‘Digital Pill’ To Monitor Wellness

LONDON, United Kingdom — British Airways has revealed plans to develop an ingestible sensor that would allow the airline to monitor passenger’s health information.

Beaming diagnostic health information from inside the customer’s body, to monitor their temperature and sleep quality, BA plans to use the data transmitted by the ‘digital pills’ to enhance the overall travel experience.

A patent application published by the Intellectual Property Office outlines the airline’s desire to create a “system and method for controlling the travel environment for a passenger.”

“We are always looking to deliver new innovations for our customers, whether it be in design or digital transformation. As such, we develop many ideas and submit many patents,” a BA spokeswoman told The Evening Standard.

Using technology first developed by researchers at the MIT lab, the ingestible sensor, which is around the size of an almond, is estimated to pass through the body in one or two days.

British Airways argues that by using the data collected by the ingestible it will have a better understanding of how to manage a passenger’s wellbeing. The sensor could eliminate the need to enter information manually, instead informing the crew directly about issues including  whether a passenger is sleeping, hungry or anxious.

Building on Virgin Atlantic’s Jet Lag Fighter app, which arms users with the tools to help battle fatigue, BA also has plans to create an accompanying app to aid passengers’ entire travel experience.

If developed, the ‘digital pill’ could spark the foundation for a whole new realm of ‘wellness travel’.