NHS to trial ‘intelligent’ pill with edible microchip *

Daily Mail
13.08.2010
By Daily Mail Reporter

NHS to launch ‘intelligent’ pill with edible microchip… that texts you if you have forgotten to take your next dose

The NHS is to trial intelligent pills that contain edible microchips that tell patients when to take their medicine.

The Raisin system, developed by US medical firm Proteus, is designed to help patients with heart failure or diabetes to take their drugs regularly and in the correct amounts.

Now The Royal Berskhire and Imperial College healthcare trusts are looking to recruit 40 volunteers for a clinical trial.

Doctors believe the devices could revolutionise how patients are treated and substantially reduce the cost of hospital readmissions by improving how they take their vital medicine.

Dr Charlie McKenna, a cardiologist at the Royal Berkshire NHS Trust, told the FT: ‘I think it’s very exciting. This approach has large potential to help with compliance.’

The volunteers will be given their standard beta-blockers and prescription pills modified to contain the Raisin edible microchip.

Once activated, the chip sends an ultra low-power, private, digital signal through the body to a microelectronic receiver that is either a small bandage style skin patch or a tiny device insert under the skin.

The receiver date- and time-stamps, decodes, and records information such as the type of drug, the dose, and the place of manufacture, as well as measures and reports physiologic measures such as heart rate, activity, and respiratory rate.

The Raisin system uses a thin and durable protective layer that stops the microchips from dissolving when it comes into contact with stomach acid.

Named ‘ChipSkin’, the protective layer enables any implanted medical device to contain active electronics.

The Raisin system has just received CE Mark approval to be marketed.

‘CE Mark approval represents a significant achievement for Proteus, and a major milestone for the advancement of intelligent medicine,’ said Andrew Thompson, president and chief executive officer of Proteus.

Full article

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