The first pill that can be digitally tracked through the body was approved by the FDA. Aripiprazole tablets have now an ingestible sensor embedded inside them that records that the medication has been taken.
The sensor was created by Proteus Digital Health. The pill was first approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2002 to treat schizophrenia, and the sensor technology was first allowed to be marketed in 2012. Now the FDA says the two can work together, Patients can track their dosage on their smartphone. The information can even be sent to the prescribing doctor who can monitor the treatment this way. The drug is used for treating schizophrenia and manic episodes. The pills are not licensed to be used in elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis. The sensor is about the size of a grain of sand. It activates when it comes into contact with stomach fluid but detection can occur after 30 minutes to two hours.
"Being able to track ingestion of medications prescribed for illness may be useful for some patients," Dr. Mitchell Mathis of the FDA said in statement. Why is this important ? Poor compliance with drug regimes, particularly among sufferers of chronic diseases, is a pervasive problem for pharma companies and health systems. Patients’ conditions deteriorate as a result of missing treatment so monitoring them is better.