Science

Smart Pills That Track When You've Taken Your Meds Approved In The US

Remembering if you’ve taken your medication could be a thing of the past now that the US Federal Drug Administrain has approved Proteus Digital Health’s new chip-embedded pills that can report back to a sensor and your smartphone when meds have been ingested.

The tiny silicon-based chips are no larger than a grain of sand and contain trace amounts of magnesium and copper. When swallowed and exposed to digestive juices, those materials produce a slight voltage, which can be detected by a special skin patch and relayed to a smartphone. It not only serves as a foolproof reminder as to if and when you’ve taken a pill, but it also allows healthcare providers to know for sure if medication has been taken by a patient who has trouble caring for themselves.

However, the approval granted by the FDA and Europe’s regulatory body are only based on successful studies where the pill was embedded in a placebo. But the company is confident that it should work just as well with actual medications, and is anticipating further approvals in the near future. [Proteus Digital Health via Nature via Popular Science]