Health, Tech

F.D.A. Green-Lights First Digital Pill

The Food and Drug Administration has green-lighted a digital pill—a medication embedded with a sensor that can tell doctors if and when, patients take their medicine. The drug is a version of the antipsychotic Abilify.

How it works is that the sensor generates an electrical signal when it reacts with the fluids in the stomach. That signal is detected, a while later, by a Band-Aid-like patch that must be worn on the left rib cage.

The patch, in turn, conveys the date and time of the ingestion of the pill via Bluetooth to a smartphone app. The app then transmits that data to a database, which physicians and others the patient has authorized, can access. It also lets them block recipients anytime patients change their mind.

Many won’t agree with me, but this approval doesn’t sound like an Orwellian nightmare to me. The drug in question can help monitor and track patients with psychiatrist problems who perhaps wouldn’t otherwise take their prescribed medication.

h/t: NYT

Design, Health, Women

Are You Taxed For Being A Female?

Period Equity

I’m not the sort of person who pays any attention to “feminine” products. But this had me sit up. Chapstick is exempt from sales tax because it’s regarded as a medical must-have. But tampons? They’re not.

40 states have what’s known as a “tampon tax.” Yet, Viagra, condoms, toilet paper, and many food products go tax free. Period Equity is an organization, which is working with activists to eliminate that tax, state by state—through these witty messages.

h/t: Co.DESIGN


The Blue Pill

Each bottle of Basis, which looks like a jar of face cream, has 60 capsules.

Elysium, a company founded by an M.I.T. biologist, and backed by Nobel Prize-winners, has begun selling a dietary pill called Basis, which combats the effects of aging.

The product, a blue capsule, isn’t a drug. It has among other ingredients, a chemical precursor to a critical compound found in all living cells, known as NAD+ (short for nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide.)

With age, NAD+ levels decline. Basis will work by supplying the body with the building blocks needed to synthesize its own NAD+, and retard the speed of senescence.