Keeping track of pills, as you swallow themWednesday, August 15th, 2012 by Roberto Saracco
Proteus Digital Health has announced the availability of tracking tags that can be embedded in prescription pills able to get power directly from the stomach acids. Once they are powered up they transmit a signal that is intercepted by a patch on your skin that will relay that signal to an application on your cell phone for transmission to a health monitor support centre.
The patch may also contain additional sensors to monitor your heart beat and respiratory frequency plus the kind of activity you are involved in during the day.
The tags are so cheap that it is not an issue (in terms of money) to swallow and then discard them.
For the first time the FDA has given the green light for its use in the mass market. This is a major milestone in the path toward digital medicine. So far these kind of devices were allowed only for use by doctors and in hospital environment. This has been possible thanks to the ingenuity of powering the tag with the stomach acids, getting rid of the need for a battery. This latter contains poisonous materials and that is why so far electronic devices have been reserved for usage under medical supervision.
Take a look at the video explaining how it works:
We can rest assured that this is just a fist step in the way to continuous monitoring of our health with the cell phone playing the role of seamless tethering to monitoring centres.