FDA OKs Tiny Edible Computer to Track Drug Effectiveness

Thursday, 19 Jun 2014 05:22 PM

By Nick Tate

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One day soon you may swallow a tiny computer — just slightly larger than the period at the end of this sentence — embedded into pills that track the effectiveness of any medication you are taking.
 
The device, approved by the Food and Drug Administration, will also monitor if you're taking your meds regularly and at the right time, NPR reports
 
David O'Reilly — the chief product officer at Proteus, the company that developed the device — said he believes that every single pill a doctor prescribes will one day come with an electronic component embedded in it that tracks the pill's absorption by the body.
 
The computer, works with a small flexible patch worn like a Band-Aid and a smartphone, is the latest advance in the growing field of "digital medicine" — in which the body's vital signs and medications can be tracked electronically.
 
The most immediate application is to track patients with mental illnesses, who can be prone to not taking their medications, researchers said.
 
A team of psychiatrists at Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, N.Y., reported that bipolar and schizophrenic patients using the Proteus system were more likely to take their drugs.
 
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