17:19 17 November 2017
Abilify MyCite is now officially the first FDA approved digital pill. The pill, which is fitted with tiny ingestible sensor, tracks if patients have taken their medication. Its sensor communicates with a patch worn by the patient, which then transmits data to a smartphone. The approval opens the door for other pills that are used for other conditions to be digitised.
Abilify is a drug that treats bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and depression.
The pill is the product of years of research and is a venture between Otsuka, a Japanese pharmaceutical company, and Proteus Digital Health, which makes the sensor. It is designed to address the prevalent problem of patients not taking their medication correctly. According to the IMS Institute, the improper and unnecessary use of medicine cost the US healthcare sector over $200billion in 2012 alone.
Some experts have expressed their concern over the approval saying that it might violate patients’ rights to privacy. Ameet Sarpatwari, an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School said that the digital pill “has the potential to improve public health. [But] if used improperly, it could foster more mistrust instead of trust.”
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