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A Digital Pill That Can Be Tracked When Swallowed Approved by the FDA



  • This decision marks a milestone in the convergence of technology and health care.
  • The so-called digital pill is a version of Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co.’s Abilify, which treats depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. 
  • The sensor, developed by Proteus Digital Health, is activated by stomach fluids, sending a signal to a patch worn on the patient’s torso and transmitting the information to a smartphone app
  • It has been approved for the treatment of schizophrenia, acute treatment of manic and mixed episodes associated with bipolar I disorder and for use as an add-on treatment for depression in adults, the FDA said.
  • The Abilify MyCite features a sensor the size of a grain of sand made of silicon, copper, and magnesium. 
  • An electrical signal is activated when the sensor comes into contact with stomach acid — the sensor then passes through the body naturally. 
  • A patch the patient wears on their left rib cage receives the signal several minutes after the pill is ingested. 

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