Proteus Digital Health Announces Large-Scale Trials and New Factory in England


Redwood City, Calif.-based digital pharmacology startup Proteus Digital Health announces that it will begin a large-scale trial of its digital pill technology in England. The announcement also announces plans of building a manufacturing plant that will employ 200 full-time staffers. The facility will be Proteus’s first international location.

Proteus manufactures digital pills that house small sensors capable of monitoring heart rate, activity, and sleep patterns. Patients are instructed to take the inactive pills in conjunction with their regularly scheduled medications, and by doing so physiological data about their response to medications is captured. The sensor has no battery and runs on the electrical charge found naturally in the human body. In addition to the sensors, Proteus’s pill also contains a small transmitter that sends the information it captures to a transdermal patch which in turn uses a Bluetooth antenna to push the information to a synched smartphone app where alerts and reminders can be automatically sent to patients, caregivers, and primary care physicians.

The company has announced a large scale trial of the pills that will be run with Oxford University and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, along with the Oxford Academic Health Science Network, the Eastern Academic Health Science Network, and the Northern Health Science Alliance. The trial will focus on measuring the value, in cost savings, of implementing the Proteus digital pill technology in support of outpatient hypertension treatment. Hospital’s will attempt to measure any improvement on readmission rates and the financial cost associated with those improvements.

British Prime Minister David Cameron weighed in on the decision, saying “I’m delighted that Proteus Digital Health is establishing their first international manufacturing site here in Britain, creating 200 highly skilled jobs. It’s proof that our work to attract high-tech business to the UK is providing real benefits for people at home  – all part of our long term economic plan.” Proteus CEO Andrew Thomson states that the decision to hold the trials in the UK was primarily motivated by the fact that the interested UK partners could quickly deliver appropriate patients on a large scale.

This is not Proteus’s first foray into the UK market. Last year, Lloyd’s Pharmacy partnered with Proteus to evaluate the use of the digital pill as an over the counter support system for caregivers to track medication compliance of family members. Oxford University has supported Proteus through early pilots focused on heart failure patients.

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