nsucurrent.com February 18, 2018

The doctor will know if you're not taking your meds now

16 November 2017, 02:03 | Ricardo Garza

FDA gives greenlight to first digital ingestion tracking system

FDA approves the first pill that can alert your doctor when you swallow it

Otsuka said that the pairing of the sensor with the antipsychotic Ability was created to allow patients with schizophrenia, bipolar I disorder or major depressive disorder to better track their daily medication intake and share that with their care team - which they can control through the linked app.

This patch sends the ingestion data to a smartphone app so patients are able closely to track the ingestion of medication. For instance, patients could feel pressured to use the brand-name digital tracking drugs by doctors or insurance companies.

Abilify is a drug used to treat neurological conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorders.

Abilify MyCite's tracking system is centred around a tiny ingestible sensor about the size of a grain of sand, called an Ingestible Event Marker (IEM), made from safe levels of copper, magnesium and silicon.

The smart pill's manufacturers - Otsuka (which makes Abilify) and Proteus (the IEM developer) - bill their innovation as "the first digital medicine system", which they say will make it easier for caregivers to objectively monitor patients' adherence to medication regimens.

The sensor records when the pill has been taken and sends a message to a wearable patch. Doctors and health care providers have to get your permission first to track the data.much like those opt-in vehicle insurance tracking devices customers can get discounts for if they install the device in their cars.

Doctors now have an easier - but controversial - way to know if their patients have taken their medication. The pill is not licensed for use by elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis.

The technology carries risks for patient privacy too if there are breaches of medical data or unauthorized use as a surveillance tool, said James Giordano, a professor of neurology at Georgetown University Medical Center. In cases where it's vital ifor patients to take a medication on a regular schedule, a digital pill would allow a physician to be alerted to a missed dose.

The new product, which will be sold as Abilify MyCite, can be swallowed just like any other pill.

"Technology will revolutionize behavioral healthcare and this advancement is simply the beginning of the digital transformation", said Birnbaum, who was not involved in the development or approval of the new medication system. A person who suffers from this mental disorder appears to be out of touch with reality.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the FDA is anticipating a potential raft of approval requests for other digital pills.

"With this FDA approval, Otsuka can help enable individuals with serious mental illness to engage with their care team about their treatment plan in a new way", he added.

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