On Monday, The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the approval of a digital pill called Abilify MyCite. Using an ingestible sensor, the newly approved drug would be able to track if users take their prescribed medicine. The new digital drug is the first of its kind and displays a new advancement in modern day medicine and technology.
Per the FDA’s News release on the pill with a sensor, “the product is approved for the treatment of schizophrenia, acute treatment of manic and mixed episodes associated with bipolar I disorder.” The FDA also approved the pill for use as an “add-on treatment for depression in adults.”
The sensor that is embedded within the pill, once ingested, will transmit a message to a wearable patch that will then send the message to a mobile application. The technology is intended to help patients be able to track and manage their medications with the ability to allow their caregivers and physicians access to the data through a web portal. The sensor will transmit the date and time the pill was taken.
The New York Times released an article Monday reporting that “so-called nonadherence or noncompliance to medication costs about $100 billion a year, much of it because patients get sicker and need additional treatment or hospitalization.” The ability to be able to track the adherence to the schedule of the drugs, the less they will need to be further treated.
Although the technology is new, it already had promising hopes for further use in the future. Other possible uses for the drug could be for monitoring patients for opioid ingestion and abuse or for monitoring clinical trial patients to ensure the drugs are being taken properly.