For most of us, swallowing a pill is no big deal. Usually, we take one or two at time with a glass of water and that's it.
But for those with more serious conditions, such as cancer patients, those with HIV or people who have undergone organ transplant, maintaining a pill regimen requires real discipline. Why? Because they have to take handfuls of pills at often at particular times of the day. Forgetting to take a pill or taking the wrong one can render the therapy ineffective.
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To help make sure this doesn't happen, Proteus Digital Health has designed a sensor that can be embedded into pills and ingested.
Once the tiny chip, called the Ingestion Event Marker (IEM), reaches the stomach, it reacts with stomach fluid to send out a time-stamped indentification signal. A special patch worn by the person picks up that signal and wirelessly transmits it to a smartphone application. The signal also relays other information, such as heart rate, body position and activity level.
With patient consent, the data can be monitored by doctors and other caregivers to make sure the medication has been properly taken.
Proteus received FDA approval on July 30th for the IEM system, which now allows it to go on the U.S. market.
"We are thrilled to have achieved this important milestone to market our ingestible sensor in the United States now, as well as in Europe," Dr. George M. Savage, co-founder and chief medical officer at Proteus Digital Health said in a press release. "We are very much looking forward to bringing the benefits of our ingestible sensor to the American public in the form of innovative product offerings."
Credit: Proteus Digital Health