Tiny Sensors to Monitor Medicine Intake Internally

Ingestible SensorsProteus Digital Health is in the process of fine tuning small BB size sensors that you swallow. They are called ingestibles and are activated when they come in contact with saliva or gastric digestive juices. They send signals to monitors, the size of band aids, worn on your chest. From there the data is sent via your smartphone or computer to those health care professionals you designate to receive the data.

The data can include whether you actually took the medicine or not and have developed appropriate blood serum levels, while also monitoring blood sugar levels, blood chemistries and other vital signs. These devices are designed to assist our growing senior citizen population and their care givers up to date on whether you are actually following the prescribed therapies and are they effectively working.

Ingestible chips are now being fine-tuned and integrated with the British National Health Service and are not yet commercially available here in the USA. In development are tinier chips that will actually be in medication pills and send messages to us via our smart phones that it is time to take your pill. Once the pill has been taken it will record that data and serum levels. If you forget you have taken your medication and go to take a second dosage, it will alert you to the fact that you already have taken the medication. If you forget to take your medication a message will be sent to your cell phone or computer and or health care provider.

Some individuals wonder whether all this data is one more “big brother” invasion of personal privacy. With 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 every day and 90% suffering from at least one chronic illness requiring several medications, we will need to balance the benefits versus the risks in deciding if we wish to participate in these monitoring programs.

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