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  • It's dangerously easy to forget to take medication on time, but what if your pills

  • reminded you to take them? The future is now!

  • Hey guys, Amy with you on DNews.

  • Ingestible technology is exactly what is sounds like: tiny sensors embedded in pills made

  • of metals that are safe to ingest, like copper or magnesium. The coating dissolves in stomach

  • acid, which activates the metal sensor, starting it's tracking of your vitals like temperature

  • and heart rate. It sends that information outside your body via an adhesive patch worn

  • on your skin straight to your smartphone using bluetooth. And because it's in your digestive

  • tract, you pass it just like you would anything else.

  • There are a few of these devices under development right now, but the closest to launching is

  • a digital pill from Proteus Digital Health. Sanctioned by the FDA in 2012, the company's

  • Ingestible Sensor marks the time of ingestion then monitors how many steps you take, rest

  • periods, and heart rate, and sends all that data to your smartphone. Another device called

  • Proteus Discover takes it even further. These sensors are packed inside each pill of a prescription,

  • logging the time you take each dose along with how it's working inside your body.

  • These devices can monitor medication intake and check for dangerous mixes, potentially

  • preventing complications that stem from mixing certain drugs. And these ingestible devices

  • are actually in use today.

  • Both these Proteus products focus on patient monitoring with an emphasis on chronic patients,

  • because some people don't always tell their doctors the truth about their habits. Patients

  • may neglect to mention other drugs they're on, or lie and say they're taking their

  • medication when really they've left the bottle unopened on a night stand. These situations

  • all bring danger of complications leading to more serious -- and more expensiveillnesses.

  • And these medication-based problems don't just affect the individuals, they affect the

  • whole country. The economic cost of medication-based problems, including costs to nursing homes,

  • hospitals, and ambulance care, total nearly $85 billion annually.

  • But digital pills aren't just about monitoring patients. Some ingestible devices are also

  • used for screening and preventative medicine. PillCam COLON is a miniaturized camera embedded

  • in a disposable capsule to non-invasively check colon health. It's the size of a vitamin,

  • you swallow the pill and as it passes through your digestive system doctors get an up close

  • up look at the colon, checking for polyps or other early signs of colorectal cancer

  • without having to do an invasive exam involving sedation or radiation. And it's an FDA-approved

  • screening method for patients who for whatever reason can't submit to a regular colonoscopy.

  • Even though these micro sensors pass through your body harmlessly, the technology does

  • raise some interesting ethical questions. This comes with the territory when you have

  • a sensor or camera inside your body transmitting images and information. But those are questions

  • that will be raised as the technology becomes more widespread.

  • If swallowing a camera pill sounds daunting, we've got the answer on how to properly

  • swallow pills right here.

  • So what do you guys think: would you be ok with your medication monitoring you?

  • Let us know in the comments below and don't forget to subscribe for more DNews every day

  • of the week.

It's dangerously easy to forget to take medication on time, but what if your pills

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