- The FDA on Thursday agreed to review a "digital pill" from Otsuka Pharma and Proteus Digital Health. This is the first such medication to be accepted for review by the agency.
- The pill includes a sensor and is combined with Otsuka's blockbuster psychiatric medication Abilify, which is indicated for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression. Patients using the smart pill would also wear a patch, which would receive information from the sensor once the pill is ingested. This information would then be relayed to a mobile device.
- The purpose of this tech? Bolstering patient compliance by letting doctors know whether or not a patient is taking his or her medication.
Could the era of "smart medication" finally be upon us?
With wearable devices and patient-tracking software applications already on the rise, the FDA's decision to review this smart pill is a first that portends big changes in the way that patients take their medicine.
This sort of technology has obvious advantages from a compliance standpoint, since doctors will have direct knowledge of whether or not the medication regimen is being followed.
Proteus CEO Andrew Thompson praised the FDA's decision in a statement. "This is the opening of a new regulatory pathway that allows the pharmaceuticals industry to combine its medical innovation with innovation in software," said Thompson. "People are given a bag of pills and told to go away and take them and very often they don’t,” said Mr Thompson, an Englishman and trained engineer who founded privately-owned Proteus in 2001.