Will a 'Digital Pill' Make You Take Your Medicine?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved the first “digital pill” system that can inform doctors when patients have taken their medicine. The system is designed for use with Abilify (aripiprazole) – a drug commonly used to treat mental health disorders like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
The system, called Abilify MyCite, consists of a pill embedded with a tiny computer chip, plus a wearable sensor and a smartphone app. When you take the pill, the computer chip is activated by acid in your stomach and sends a signal to the sensor – an adhesive patch worn on your abdomen. With your permission, the sensor then sends information to the smartphone app via Bluetooth, which transmits it to the doctor’s office.
Data collected and sent to your physician can include whether you were moving, standing, or sitting when you took the pill, what time you took it, and how you felt when you took the medication. Over time, doctors can use this information to determine whether you always takes the medication at the same time of day or miss doses.