Approval in the US tablet reports when taken
Imagine, your doctor always knows if you have taken all medications. A tablet approved in the US is a first approach in this direction: It reports when it is digested in the stomach – and sends the data to the cloud.
The tablet contains a tiny sensor. If it comes into contact with stomach acid, it sends out an electrical impulse. A special patch worn by the patient registers the signal, forwards the information to an app, and then moves it to a cloud. This allows the person concerned to document and track when he took his pills. And with his approval, doctors or nurses can access this data.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has for the first time approved a tablet plus accessories, where such a sensor system is practically implemented. The drug “Abilify MyCite” may be prescribed for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or concomitant with major depression. Manufacturer is the Japanese company Otsuka Pharmaceutical, which has been selling tablets containing the active ingredient aripiprazole for years. The sensor is manufactured by the US company Proteus Digital Health.
“For some patients, it may be useful to keep an eye on taking pills for mental illness,” says Mitchell Mathis of the FDA. For example, in people with bipolar disorder, there is a risk that they will stop taking their medication during a manic phase. So far, however, is not proven whether the technology contributes to the fact that patients take their medication more regularly, as the manufacturer and the FDA point out. It is still unclear whether insurance companies will pay for the remedy – they may refuse it until it is proven that monitoring actually increases adherence.
Proteus Digital Health, meanwhile, seems to be targeting much larger audiences: On its website , the company says the system could have the greatest impact, among others, on patients with diabetes or high blood pressure. Almost half of American adults have high blood pressure, according to US Guidelines .