In an ideal world, people who are sick would take their medicine in a timely and consistent manner, but unfortunately in the real world, sometimes people forget to take their medication, might miss a dose or two thinking that it does not matter when it does. However that could change in the future, thanks to the FDA approving a digital pill that keeps track of you.
The FDA has recently approved a digital pill, which is basically a medication embedded with a sensor, that can tell doctors when patients take their medicine, and whether or not they’ve taken it on time. The medication in question is an antipsychotic called Abilify, and for those concerned about privacy, patients will have to sign consent forms that will allow their doctors and up to four other people, such as family members, to receive information showing the time and date that the pills were ingested.
According to Dr. William Shrank, chief medical officer of the health plan division at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, “When patients don’t adhere to lifestyle or medications that are prescribed for them, there are really substantive consequences that are bad for the patient and very costly.” The New York Times claims that experts have estimated that patients who don’t take their medication on time costs about $100 billion a year, due to patients getting sicker and requiring additional treatment as a result.
This is actually not the first time that we’re seeing companies try to come up with ways to ensure patients take their medication on time. Last year a company developed a pill that could expand in your stomach and release doses over a period of time equivalent to the patient taking pills individually over the course of their treatment.