Digital Pill

Several months ago we blogged about the use of digital sensors, to help monitor family members activity in and around the home, and the use of these digital sensors embedded in medication, basically a digital pill, to help monitor patient compliance in taking medication.

For example, a sensor embedded in a chair that would inform caregivers or patient family if the individual did not get up or was not active.  A sensor on the fridge door that would inform when it was opened, or if it was not opened to help verify if the individual was eating.
One of the  more exciting options were tablets with an embedded sensor, a digital pill, that would activate based on contact with stomach fluids to inform caregivers and/or patient family that the individual had taken their medication.  One of the big issues with elderly patients is medication compliance.  Patients who forget and do not take their their medication at all, patients who do not take it at or about the same time every day which can lead to reduced effectiveness, or patients who forget they have taken their medication and inadvertently overdose.
Per the Device Daily Bulletin, the FDA just approved the first prescription pill containing a sensor, the digital pill, that verifies ingestion via electronic detection.
If widely adopted in other medication, the ability to remote monitor medication compliance in a loved one by a family member, or patient by a care giver could provide a significant advantage in monitoring medication compliance.  With more consistent dosing, this may lead to better healthcare outcomes for the patient.