Proteus Digital Health Pills
Proteus Creates 200 UK Jobs for Edible Microchip ‘Smart Pill’ Production
US biotech giant will create 200 jobs in Britain as it picks the country to produce a ‘smart pill’ which can tell if a patient has taken their medication or not. Proteus confirmed in a statement that its tablets, which contain edible microchips, will be produced at a site in the UK while several teams within Britain’s state-run National Health Service plan to test the benefits of using the sensor technology in various fields.
In May 2013, Proteus revealed that it received $62.5m in funding for the pill production. Proteus received European and US approval for its technology system where the ‘smart pill’, which is about the size of a grain of sand, is linked to a patch worn on the patient’s abdomen.
Proteus Digital Health, at its core, involves a tiny, all-organic sensor that people swallow with their medication.
The sensor contains tiny amounts of magnesium and copper that react together, sending a wireless signal to a battery-operated patch that’s worn on the patient’s abdomen. The patch, which lasts about a week, reports its data to a tablet or smartphone via Bluetooth, and the device forwards the information up to the cloud. Once the data is in the cloud, it can be monitored by doctors and other caregivers.
Proteus became a company in 2001 and has been working with the FDA to approve its technology since the mid-2000s. The company has received European Commission (CE mark) and FDA market clearance in the U.S. for its wearables and Ingestible Sensors.
A handful of health systems in the U.S. and U.K. are now testing the Proteus system in what Proteus calls a “private beta.” The company isn’t saying when the product will become generally available.
Take two microchips, call me in the morning
The pill of the future has arrived. And it’s prepared to hold a one-way conversation with your doctor from deep inside the lining of your stomach.
The FDA has approved the use of tiny sensors to be embedded within drugs to transmit information back to your physician. The silicon chip conveys details about how your body is responding to the medication and your actual frequency of use.
“It’s like Big Brother watching you take your medicine,” said Eric Topol, who is the director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute and has written about the future of medical technology.
Image by Proteus