Proteus Digital Health, a Redwood City firm, and Otsuka Pharmaceutical of Tokyo, Japan won FDA approval for the world’s first digital pill. The ABILIFY MYCITE (aripiprazole) is a tablet with a tiny sensor embedded in its interior. After the tablet is swallowed and dissolved, the sensor meets the stomach juices, which activate it and allow it to communicate with a patch worn by the patient. The patch transmits its readings to a smartphone or tablet, communicating every time that the pill is swallowed with the patients doctor or caretakers.
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The tiny ingested sensor is then passed by the GI system and leaves the body.
The first drug to be tracked like this is aripiprazole prescribed for schizophrenia, acute manic and mixed episodes, bipolar I disorder, and major depressive disorder. Because such patients often tend to skip their meds, the new tracking system may help to ensure they stay on track, resulting in optimal therapy and rehabilitation.