Friday, August 3, 2012

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A major breakthrough: digitised pills to monitor your health

This is a real breakthrough in the world of medicine: an edible digitised pill which acts as a sensor. It was announced this week that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved an ingestible sensor developed by Proteus Digital Health to be used as a medical device.

Pic from Digitaltrends

So what does it do? It is part of a 'digital health feedback system, an integrated, end-to-end personal health management system that is designed to help improve patients’ health habits and connections to caregivers.' This tiny, digestible sensor aims to transmit data to an online app to help improve a patient’s health habits and patterns. When the pill reaches the patient’s stomach fluids, data transmission starts and determines the time of ingestion straight onto an external app. Patients will have to wear a patch on their skin to receive the data while the patch will also calculate heart rate, body position, and physical activity. This information can be relayed to the patient’s doctor or caretaker to evaluate his or her health patterns to help them make better health choices.

If you perpetually forget to take your medicine, this is really good for you but there is more to this development than just this as the Dr. Eric Topol explains: 'The FDA validation represents a major milestone in digital medicine. Directly digitizing pills, for the first time, in conjunction with our wireless infrastructure, may prove to be the new standard for influencing medication adherence and significantly aid chronic disease management.'
Digitaltrends  Proteus