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Biotech Medicine Science

Pills With Digestible Microchips Approved By US Drug Agency 163

ananyo writes "Digestible microchips embedded in drugs may soon tell doctors whether a patient is taking their medications as prescribed. The 'digital pills' are the first ingestible devices approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The pills contain a sand-particle sized sensor, consisting of a minute silicon chip containing trace amounts of magnesium and copper. When swallowed, it generates a slight voltage in response to digestive juices, which conveys a signal to the surface of a person's skin where a patch then relays the information to a mobile phone belonging to a healthcare-provider. Currently, the FDA, and the analogous regulatory agency in Europe have only approved the device based on studies showing its safety and efficacy when implanted in placebo pills. But Proteus Digital Health, the manufacturer, hopes to have the device approved within other drugs in the near future."
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Pills With Digestible Microchips Approved By US Drug Agency

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  • False Negative? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by NFN_NLN ( 633283 ) on Tuesday July 31, 2012 @12:26PM (#40830003)

    So what happens when there is a false negative?

    Dr: Did you take your pill?
    P: Yes
    Dr: The pill didn't register; are you sure you didn't forget? You better take another one.

  • by ganjadude ( 952775 ) on Tuesday July 31, 2012 @12:38PM (#40830163) Homepage
    I see this as more of a way to check if people are abusing drugs under the disguise of being good for the patient. take 2 pain killers instead of one? cops knock on your door. /tinfoil
  • by Kenja ( 541830 ) on Tuesday July 31, 2012 @12:39PM (#40830181)
    Well, to expand on that it could be used to make sure that they are actually taking their pain killers rather then reselling them. Right now this is done through a serial number on the pill being linked to the patients finger print.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 31, 2012 @12:47PM (#40830285)

    As someone who has an elderly parent who does not take her medication properly and then fibs to the doctor, this would be very helpful. Also, for patients with memory issues, also very helpful. As long as it is an optional item, I don't see anything wrong with this. If you don't wish for the medication to be monitored, then that's something that should be your choice. I would also think the more delicate or severe the problem being addressed, the more it should be suggested and used. My grandmother would forget her medication and take it too much, causing extremely low blood pressure, and this could have helped.

  • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) * on Tuesday July 31, 2012 @04:08PM (#40833439) Homepage Journal

    Prior to Carter, the mentally ill were basically tucked away out of sight in asylums. Then they invented effective anti-psychotic medication, and so it became possible to treat the mentally ill. Of course, a treated mentally ill person does not need to be tucked away in an asylum anymore, so they were released... and a significant portion stopped taking their medication.

    Either your history is faulty, or my memory is. Reagan is the one who freed the nutballs, and it was before many of the modern tretments came about, but long after Haldol (invented in 1958), a treatment for schitzophrenia and psychosis.

    When they let the crazies out, they weren't treating them! I knew one such fellow with schitzophrenia, crazy as a loon, unable to hold a job or have any kind of normal life, on drugs, and lived on the government dole. He finally got treatment (Haldol), and the last time I saw him he had a job, a girlfriend, had given up the drugs (many mentally ill people are on illegal drugs because if their illnesses, and the medical community insists that the drugs cause the illness) and was an election judge!

    Note that Haldol is injected once a month, the patient does not medicate himself.

    We treat the mentally ill badly in this country. Very badly. I know one woman who had an incredibly bad childhood, had clinical depression since her teen years, started on drugs as a young adult, and her "treatment" always consisted of putting her in a drug treatment facility, again on the stupid assumption that the drugs caused her illness, rather than the other way around, despite the fact that the illness came first! She finally got some good help, is now on Paxil and off the illegal drugs. But those two are the exceptions to the rule, most mentally ill people get no help whatever.

    Thise homeless bugging you for spare change? Most of them have mental problems and could be useful members of society if they had access to treatment.

Today is a good day for information-gathering. Read someone else's mail file.