In the News: Pills with Digital Sensors

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Andrew Thompson of Proteus Digital Health believes that pills equipped with sensors that can alert physicians and caregivers when patients take their medication have the potential to transform health care.

Companies such as Amazon and Apple have transformed how we buy books and music, but what will bring about an analogous transformation in health care? According to Andrew Thompson, CEO of Proteus Digital Health, the answer is sensors on pills that will interface with mobile devices and help ensure that patients take their medication on schedule.
 
Thompson described the sensors that Proteus has developed at the Wired Health 2014 conference in London on April 29, 2014. The tiny sensors are made of silicon, copper, and magnesium, and are embedded in pills. Once a patient ingests the sensor, a signal is transmitted to a patch on the skin, which then relays information to the patient’s mobile device, from which it can be made available to physicians and caregivers. The aim is to turn taking medicine into a “digital experience” and help improve medication adherence, which is essential to effectively treating chronic conditions.
 
Proteus’ sensors were approved by the FDA in 2012 and by European regulators in 2010. To read more about Thompson’s talk at Wired Health 2014 and to watch a video of it, click here.