Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Chip in the pill

Next-generation pills are being developed by scientists, the Los Angeles Times and the Financial Times report.
These high-tech pills are equipped with microchips, that report back exactly when, what kind of and how much medicine the patient has taken.
The main goals of these new devices are to help the patients adhere to their medication regimen and to improve adherence to medication in clinical trials.

Examples for the high-tech pills

Magne Trace

Investigators from Georgia Tech developed an electronic necklace that can detect magnetized pills as they pass through the esophagus. The necklace (or a patch attached to the chest) contains a magnetic sensor that could be used to detect when specially-designed medication containing a tiny magnet – three millimeters in diameter and about one millimeter thick – passes through the patient’s esophagus. The date and time the user swallowed the pill can be recorded on a handheld wireless device, such as a smart phone, carried on the user’s body. The information can then be sent to the patient’s doctor over the internet. The device can notify both the patient and the patient’s doctor if the prescribed dosage is not taken at the proper time.


Proteus Biomedical and Novartis developed a specialized microchip which the company plans to add to pills. When a patient ingests a ”Proteus-pill”, their stomach acids activate the microchip, which then sends data such as heart rate, temperature, and body movements to a dermal patch via Bluetooth connectivity. This patch can then export the data to an EMR (electronic medical record), so that it can be accessed by the patient's doctors. Novartis will bring the "Proteus-pills" to market within two years.

The ID-Cap is a sticker that is developed by University of Florida electronic engineer Rizwan Bashirullah. The cap contains a microchip, antenna and acid sensor and it sends electronic signals through body tissue to a receiver, worn on the wrist. Bashirullah estimates that applying the microchips to medication would cost between 25¢ to $1.00 more per pill, and that a real-world product should be available within two years.

1 comment:

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