The FDA has recently approved the use of a digital pill: a small silicon chip about the size of a sand particle taken at the time of medication. The device interacts with the body system, signalling to a detector patch worn on the skin. The patch in turn sends a notification to the physician’s mobile device that the medication has been taken. The device also monitors the way the patient reacts to the medication: tracking heart rate, respiration, and temperature. Manufactured by Proteus Digital Health, the pill has received approval only for placebos, but the company soon hopes that approval will be granted for use with a wide range of oral treatments.
The impact of the approval remains to be seen, but holds the potential to increase medication adherence. With technological enhancements to medical care close at hand, the future of pharmacological care is closer than we might think.