U.S. approves digital pill that tracks patient compliance …
(Reuters) – U.S. regulators have approved the first digital pill with an embedded sensor to track if patients are taking their medication properly.
The tracking device offers doctors an objective way to measure if patients are swallowing their pills on schedule, opening up a new avenue for monitoring medicine compliance that could be applied in other therapeutic areas.
The FDA said that being able to track ingestion of medicines may be useful “for some patients”, although the ability of the digital pill to improve patient compliance had not been proved.
“The FDA supports the development and use of new technology in prescription drugs and is committed to working with companies to understand how technology might benefit patients and prescribers,” said the FDA’s Mitchell Mathis.
The system works by sending a message from the pill’s sensor to a wearable patch, which then transmits the information to a mobile application so that patients can track the ingestion of the medication on their smartphone. [The app could then potentially relay details of patient compliance to a medical office, government agency, or private party. – Editor]
About the size of a grain of salt, the sensor has no battery or antenna and is activated when it gets wet from stomach juices. That completes a circuit between coatings of copper and magnesium on either side, generating a tiny electric charge.
READ THE FULL STORY AT REUTERS. Also of interest: Forget Risky Rx; We Found 3 Safe Remedies That Are Proven Stress-Busters