“Intelligent” pills, tagged with edible sensors, will be sold at chemists in the United Kingdom to help patients and doctors track medications.
A shoulder patch logs what time the pills reach the patient’s stomach. It also monitors bodily functions and sends this encrypted information to smartphones or computers owned by the patient, as well as their doctor and carers.
The sensor, which is the size of a grain of sand, contains two materials that provide power for about five minutes when they come into contact with stomach fluids.
Older patients, in particular, may need to remember to take five or more different pills at a time – multiple times a day – for problems such as heart disease and diabetes.
The system could therefore prove useful for patients on complex medication regimes, although it will only be offered privately.
Lloyds Pharmacy has signed a deal with US-based healthcare provider Proteus Biomedical to bring the system to Britain. Is there room in the Australian market for something similar?