We are searching data for your request:
Digital pill collects data in the patient's stomach
Not so long ago, digital pills belonged to science fiction films and had little to do with reality. That could change in the US now. At the end of July, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Californian manufacturer "Proteus Digital Health" for such a drug. "Helius" is also scheduled to be launched on the UK market in late 2012 It is a so-called digital pill, into which a microchip has been integrated. If this comes into contact with the gastric juice inside the body, the chip is activated and records data such as body temperature, heart rate or information about ingested substances and medications The online issue of the British newspaper "The Independend" ironically titled "The chips that are good for your health".
Digital pill sends data from the inside of the body to the attending doctor. People who have to take medication regularly could look forward to the digital pill. If, for example, the medication is forgotten, the treating doctor could remind the patient with an SMS. The science magazine "Nature" reports on how this works.
If the patient takes the digital pill with an integrated microchip, it is activated in the stomach by contact with the gastric juice. From this point in time, data on heart rate, movement, body temperature and also on ingested substances are collected. The microchip, which is just a grain of sand, then transfers the information to a smartphone via a plaster with a battery attached to the outside of the skin. If the patient agrees to the data being passed on, the information is sent directly to the attending doctor, who can then react immediately to changes or deviations.
"The most important and fundamental thing we can monitor is the current physical use of the drug," Andrew Thompson, managing director of Proteus Digital Health, told Nature. “We tested the system on hundreds of patients in many different therapeutic areas. It has been tested for tuberculosis, mental health, heart failure, hypertension and diabetes. "
Digital pill is not new As the science magazine reports, the invention of the digital pill is not new. Accordingly, the small ingestible sensors have a long history. In the 1980s, NASA is said to have developed ingestible thermometers to measure the body temperature of astronauts. The thermometers are now also used by athletes. In addition, edible pill-shaped cameras were developed to record pictures of the digestive organs.
"There are a number of companies that have worked on integrating various technologies into pills to capture the inside of the body," Jonathan Cooper from the University of Glasgow told Nature, adding that when you incorporate the functionality of a sensor , there is a greater energy requirement and the pills are therefore larger. However, these are then more difficult to swallow. According to “Nature”, pills with small cameras also have the problem that they could get stuck in the digestive tract. For example, Cooper and his team had previously tried to develop a pill that could detect tiny traces of blood in the intestine to detect colon cancer. Ultimately, however, they chose to use their existing technology to monitor stool samples. (ag)
Image: Harald Wanetschka, Pixelio