Here Come the Electroceuticals

Health / Lifestyle /

How can you tell if someone with mental issues has taken prescribed pills?  By the very nature of their illness, these patients can have a hard time remembering to take their medication, while sticking to the regime can be crucial.

Without anything to alert them, health and support workers won’t know if a patient has taken their pills or if having neglected to take them accounts for a decline.

It’s not here in the UK yet but in America they already have the first smart pill to tell doctors if patients have taken their medication. Recently approved by regulators, this may well be paving the way for a new generation of electroceuticals.

The new technology has been added to the drug Ablify, used since 2002 to treat people suffering from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

The smart pill contains a sensor as small as a grain of sand and this sends a message as soon as it meets stomach acid, transmitting it to a wearable smart patch worn on the rib cage.,

American regulators believe that the new smart pills will help relatives and doctors to monitor medication and patients to manage their condition.  Abilify MyCite was developed by Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. and the sensor created by Proteus Digital Health.

Patients sign consent forms to allow their doctors and up to four other people, including family members, to receive electronic updates showing the date and time pills are taken.

The pills could also be used in the future to check whether patients are taking too many painkillers, or whether those on clinical trials are taking drugs correctly.  There has also been discussion as to whether the smart pills could be used to monitor whether psychiatric prisoners on parole are taking their medication.

Watch this space……


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Patricia McLoughlin

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