New Digital Pill Will Text When Swallowed

4-17-2013 6-07-50 PM

Researchers at Proteus Digital Health have developed a small ingestible sensor that is capable of recognizing when it has been swallowed, allowing it to send a text message alert to help manage medication adherence.

The system consists of a pill, a sensor patch, and a smartphone. The pill contains a one millimeter square sensor. The sensor, which has no battery, runs on the electrical charge found naturally in the human body. The sensor transmits a signal to a patch which in turn sends a notification, via Bluetooth, that the pill has been swallowed.

The idea behind the device is to give family members caring for older parents a way of knowing if medications are being taken. The system is also intended for helping medication management in the post-acute care environment. Monitoring patients as they are starting a new medication regimen after discharge from the hospital may help the health system keep the patient from being readmitted due to medication non-compliance.

The sensor has been piloted in the UK and has earned FDA approval to be offered in the US.

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