How to monitor whether patients are really taking their meds… The Proteus smart pill is introduced as the first FDA-approved ‘digital medication’

A pill with a sensor (the size of a grain of sand) that track medical adherence. A med that tracks other meds. Hmmm you might say, very interesting. Tell me about it.

How the digital pill works

For the drug/ sensor hybrid to work, the patient must wear a patch also created by Proteus and download an app on their phone. When the patient takes the the drug, a slight voltage is generated by the digestive juices that sends a signal to the patch. The patch will then timestamp when the medication was taken.


The first iteration of digital pills-as-medication and digital-tracking, a case study in effect, is targeted at high-risk patients with “depression, schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder. Behavioral health makes sense as a starting point for Proteus in moving its technology into actual patient use, since conditions that affect a patient’s behavior often go hand-in-hand with patients not taking their medications — and not necessarily telling anyone they’ve stopped.”

Recent FDA decisions set the stage for the sensor-embedded Abilify to become available by April 2016.


Proteus_ingestible med-wearable mobile computing

Proteus ‘smartpills’

Venture cap firms are taking a closer look 

Proteus is privately held and funded by leading institutional and corporate investors, including: Novartis, Otsuka, Oracle and Kaiser Permanente

Andrew Thompson, CEO, Proteus Digital Health, speaker at the Digital Health Summit
October 2015



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via Digital Health News

The combined bill has been submitted as a new drug application (NDA), rather than as a medical device. But both Abilify and the Proteus Digital Health feedback system are already FDA approved and cleared, respectively. In fact, Proteus’s clearance was updated this summer to allow Proteus to claim and market its product’s ability to quantify medication adherence, something the company believes is unprecedented…

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Published by: DigiBody