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Latest News from Marian College, School of Nursing

FDA Approves First Digital Pill

Microchips in medicine might sound like something out of a science fiction movie, but it is one step closer to becoming a reality. The FDA has approved the first ingestible sensor, created by Proteus Digital Health. If you or your patients ever have difficulty remembering to take your medication, this technology could help.

Photo Courtesy of Proteus Digital Health

The sensor helps monitor medication use with a microchip the size of a grain of sand. Once ingested, the microchip reacts to the body’s stomach fluids and begins to send signals to an external patch worn by the user. The patch then transmits a signal to a device with an application for monitoring the medicine intake. The chip is made entirely of ingredients found in food (mostly silicon) and the technology is powered by stomach fluids and the user’s heartbeat. Finally, when the job is done, the chip dissolves and passes through the digestive system.

For now the chip will only be used in placebos to ensure the pills are taken, but Proteus hopes that one day the ingestible sensor will be able to provide much more information for users. In the future, users will be able to monitor their bodies’ response to different kinds of medication through applications on a mobile device created by Proteus.

We’re excited to see how it will be put to use in the future. What are your thoughts on this new technology? Do you see it as helpful, or potentially too invasive?



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