FDA approves edible electronic pills that sense when you take your medication

fda approves edible electronic pills pill sensors

When you hear the term electronic pills, you might be imagining some sort of hardwired chips that you’re supposed to unwillingly ingest. This isn’t quite the case. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration passed an edible electronic sensor on Monday that will be used to keep track of a patient’s medication patterns to ensure they are regularly taking their meds.

Proteus Digital Health, Inc. has developed a tiny, digestible sensor that aims to transmit data to an online app to help improve a patient’s health habits and patterns. These sensors can be integrated into any medically ingested products. Once the pill is consumed and the sensor reaches the patient’s stomach fluids, data transmission is activated to determine the time of ingestion straight onto an external app. Patients will have to wear a patch on their skin to receive the data while the patch will also calculate heart rate, body position, and physical activity. This information can be relayed to the patient’s doctor or caretaker to evaluate his or her health patterns to help them make better health choices.

The technology makes sense considering many people often forget to take their pills, especially if some are required to be taken at a certain time of day. It’s also a good reminder for those who might have forgotten whether they have taken their dose for the day or not.

“This device could be a solution to that problem, so that doctors can know when to rev up a patient’s medication adherence,” said Dr. Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute. “It’s like big brother watching you take your medicine.”

For those who are avert to the idea of eating microchips, you might be happy to know the sensors are made of silicon, magnesium, and copper so once the pill has been consumed and broken down, you actually earn a bit of minerals in your body.

“The FDA validation represents a major milestone in digital medicine,” said Topol. “Directly digitizing pills, for the first time, in conjunction with our wireless infrastructure, may prove to be the new standard for influencing medication adherence and significantly aid chronic disease management.”

We could only wonder how long it will take before such integration will come to regular food products? If incorporated into healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables, perhaps parents can keep track of whether or not their children are eating their greens and ingesting them properly. The ability to track nutrition breakdown via an edible sensor might also help us regulate food intake without the need to take blood tests to identify malnourished nutrients and minerals

Emerging Tech

How MIT hacked horticulture to cultivate a hyper-flavorful basil plant

At MIT, Caleb Harper used his personal food computers to alter the climate in which he grew basil. Exposing it light for 24 hours a day changed the flavor profile of the plant, making it spicier and stronger.
Trash

The best MP3 players of 2018 cram tons of music into a small package

Want to go for a run, but your phone is weighing you down? Don't sweat it. Can't fit your whole music library on your smartphone? No worries. Check out our list of the best MP3 players, and find one that works for you.
Deals

Make some time for the best smartwatch deals for April 2019

Smartwatches make your life easier by sending alerts right on your wrist. Many also provide fitness-tracking features. So if you're ready to take the plunge into wearables and want to save money, read on for the best smartwatch deals.
Trash

Looking to get into shape? Snag one of these fitness trackers

Looking for your first fitness tracker, or an upgrade to the one you're already wearing? There are plenty of the wrist-worn gadgets available. Here are our picks for the best fitness trackers available right now.
Deals

The best iRobot Roomba deals to make cleaning your home a breeze

Keep your home clean without lifting a finger using a robot vacuum cleaner. These nine iRobot Roomba deals not only help you keep your home tidy, but many also come with advanced features such as automatic scheduling and Wi-Fi connectivity.
Emerging Tech

Sweden is building a road that recharges electric buses that drive over it

The Swedish transport administration is exploring special roads which will charge vehicles’ batteries as they drive over them. It will test the idea with a short sample stretch of road.
Emerging Tech

Scientists manage to 3D print an actual heart using human cells

Scientists at Tel Aviv University have achieved a world-first by 3D printing a small-scale heart, complete with blood vessels, ventricles, and chambers. Here's why that's so exciting.
Emerging Tech

Drown out noisy neighbors and rest easy with these white noise machines

Some people are more sensitive to sound during sleep than others. Luckily, there are a number of white noise machines on the market to mask the noise. Here are our five of our current favorites.
Emerging Tech

Feast your eyes on the wildest, most elaborate Rube Goldberg machines ever built

Want to see something totally mesmerizing? Check out several of the best Rube Goldberg machines from across the internet, including one that serves cake and others that do ... nothing particularly useful.
Emerging Tech

Watch a pack of SpotMini robot dogs perform a terrifying feat of strength

Boston Dynamics' SpotMini robotic dog is now going around in packs, and the results are somewhat concerning. Check out the video to see what kind of shenanigans 10 of them got up to recently ...
Emerging Tech

Notre Dame fire: How drones and a robot called Colossus helped limit the damage

The fire that devastated the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral on Monday shocked many around the world. In a bid to prevent even worse damage to the structure, Paris firefighters opted to deploy drones and a robot called Colossus.
Emerging Tech

New gunfire-detection system alerts police of shooters in seconds, not minutes

The Safe Zone Gunfire Detector is a fast gunfire-detection system that could help avert potential tragedies in public places like schools, malls, or anywhere a mass shooting might occur.
Emerging Tech

NASA chooses a special spot for its next crewed moon landing

Following the U.S. government's announcement last month of a desire to see American astronauts set foot on the moon again in the next five years, NASA has revealed a location on the lunar surface where it would most like to land.
Emerging Tech

Adidas has created a running shoe that’s made to be remade

Adidas has unveiled the Futurecraft Loop running shoe that it claims is the first performance footwear to be 100% recyclable. The shoe is the latest green initiative by the sportswear company and will go on sale in 2021.