Ingestible sensors. MedGizmo Update
This is the first Post. Here we look at some general subjects and certain news from the media, In the second Part we describe some devices and technologies
The Internet if Things is penetrating our life, and Healthcare is one of the most affected areas.
Here IoT will opens new opportunities to simplify medical procedures by introducing the use of implantables, ingestibles and injectables. The time has come now when smart pills can be used to replace surgeries, reduce recovery times and lower the risks associated with medical procedures. The next phase of Digital Health is already here: smart pills and indigestible sensors are available and used in everyday life. In fact, experts are talking about The Sensors’ Web (Web 3.0) that is witnessing transformation from Wearables to Insideables, human body is becoming the next computer Interface. Technology is moving from the outside to inside of the body.
One of the biggest accelerating factors that new technology is presenting is the success of catheter-less pH monitoring and wireless capsule based gastrointestinal monitoring (GI) monitoring.
On the basis of technology, there are two spheres: capsule endoscopy technology and gastrointestinal monitoring technology. Based on application: diagnosis and monitoring. In general, the market seems to be one of the most promising in medical technology field. According to the market research the Smart pills market in 2014 is valued at $1.56 billion; is forecasted to reach $3.83 billion in the year 2020, growing at a CAGR of 16.16% (2014 – 2020); will continue to reach $8.98 billion by the year 2024, growing at a CAGR of 23.7% (2020 – 2024).
Ingestible sensors (or, smart pills) present a cross-platform of various developments, as it is shown in this MIT LAB graph:
Technology developments bring new opportunities for Digital Healthcare, among which we will look into the following:
- New medical procedures (endoscopy)
- Control of medicinal release
- Digitizing healthy habits (digital pill)
Generally speaking, ingestible sensors are monitoring bodily systems and wirelessly transmit what’s happening in the body to another device: smartphone, tablet/computer where the doctor or the patient can review. Activation of the sensor usually is archived by interaction with body electrolytes. Then the sensor transmits a signal to an attached patch: to determine when the item was consumed, as well as other preprogrammed physiological and behavioral metrics (heart rate, body position, activity, etc.). The patch sends all data to a special mobile application.
We have already showed in one of our earlier post this illustration by Reuters
Ingestible sensors are currently being used for the following tasks:
- Diagnostic Imaging .Pills usually contain a tiny camera collecting images of the gastrointestinal tract, and transmitting them
- Drug Delivery. Pills and capsules alert doctors and caretakers when patients are not following doctors’ orders. Pills that contain dissolvable sensors are used. They are able to monitor and record patients’ physiological reactions to prescribed medications, tracking side effects
- Patient Monitoring. Monitoring patients’ vitals: temperature, blood sugar levels, etc. While moving down the digestive tract, sensors transmit information. Especially beneficial for athletes, diabetics and other chronically ill patients.
- technology still needs to undergo further clinical trials
- costs are high
- patients are fearful of ingesting sensors for reasons related to privacy and the uncertainty of the unknown.
This business turns out to extremely profitable. Interesting to learn the story how Novartis’ $24 million investment and partnership with Proteus helped create more than $100 billion in shareholder value for their company in less than three years
Currently many companies go this way, as we will show in our post. Just to mention a couple of the latest pieces of news:
Jawbone CEO Hosain Rahman announced that his company is researching swallowable and implantable fitness sensors.
PayPal says that embeddable, injectable, and ingestible devices are the next wave in identification for mobile payments and other sensitive online interactions
Novartis is conducting a feasibility study with Rani Therapeutics Inc., the venture-backed maker of an ingestible gadget that has a unique way of delivering peptides, proteins and therapeutic antibodies to the body. Here is a Rani Therapeutics Patent: Device, system and methods for the oral delivery of therapeutic compounds
The scientists at Carnegie Mellon University are working on edible electronics and ways to power them. Ingestible sensors could provide a gut check for early signs on bacterial infection, look for symptoms of gastrointestinal disorders such as Crohn’s Disease, monitor uptake of medications, and even study the microbiome living inside people.
Researchers at Purdue University in Indiana are working on an electronic drug capsule engineered to deliver medications directly to the colon. That could potentially offer a more effective and cheaper option for treating people with gastrointestinal conditions.
Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (Otsuka) and Proteus Digital Health (Proteus) announced that the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has determined that the New Drug Application (NDA) for the combination product of ABILIFY® (aripiprazole) embedded with a Proteus® ingestible sensor in a single tablet is sufficiently complete to allow for a substantive review and is considered filed as of September 8, 2015.
Oracle developed Oracle Health Sciences InForm Medication Adherence in cooperation with Proteus Digital Health. It includes an ingestible pill sensor, a wearable patch, and a software system.
This completes the first part of our Post. In the next part we will look into some practical devices and technologies
Image by MedGizmo