Soon, Your Prescription Pills Could Include Tracking Sensors
The technology behind ingestible biosensors (or “digital pills,” if you will) exists, and it has since 2017, when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first drug with an embedded biosensor for tracking its use for Proteus Health.
What does this technology look like in the ordinary world? In a nutshell (or perhaps we should say “in a capsule,”) a drug with a tiny embedded sensor is swallowed by the patient. The sensor then delivers data that can track the patient’s adherence to their prescribed drug regimen.
For medical professionals, data revealing inconsistent use of a prescribed drug could offer an explanation for why a patient is not responding to treatment as expected. For patients, it can create awareness of irregular adherence.
Regular adherence to prescribed medication can be particularly important for conditions like tuberculosis and HIV, which rely heavily on a faithful drug regimen for successful treatment.
However, despite the potential benefits of medications incorporating ingestible biosensors, the technology has not gained traction as quickly as some predicted. This article from Medical Device Network discusses some of the hurdles.
Despite the slow start, companies are moving forward with projects centered around ingestible biosensors, suggesting that the medical device and pharmaceutical industries are confident that the technology will become more commonplace in the not-too-distant future.