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.