FDA approves edible electronic pills

Ingesting electronics tends to be a bad idea. They don't taste good (except for Android phones) and they can cause issues, uh, later on. Or so I hear. From a friend. These pills, on the other hand, are specifically designed to be eaten, and they operate from inside your body, transmitting medical data straight to your phone.

Unfortunately, these pills are not designed to rewire your insides and turn you into some sort of cyborg. Not yet. Until it figures out how to make that happen, Proteus Digital Health is content to just keep on developing a system that can verify if and when you take your meds.

Apparently, nearly half of people who are on medication don't take it properly, either missing doses or screwing up the timing. With things like antibiotics, this can lead to complications, which is bad for everyone concerned. This is where the edible electronics come in: by adding them to pills, it's suddenly possible for doctors to make sure that you're taking the right doses at the right times.

The Proteus digestible microchips are made of trace amounts of silicon, magnesium, and copper. When you swallow one, the acid in your stomach causes the microchip to generate a tiny little voltage signal that's detectable using a skin patch. The patch sends a confirmation message to your phone, which routes it to your doctor, who then knows that you've just taken your meds. Meanwhile, after a few minutes the microchip harmlessly dissolves and you get some extra minerals in your diet.

Clearly, this technology has incredible potential, and not just in drug deliver: maybe one day all of our food will contain these microchips, allowing us to keep meticulous track of everything that we eat without even trying. It sounds slightly sinister, but poor eating habits are becoming a serious health issue, and if you had an app on your phone that could let you know that hey, you'd better eat another piece of broccoli because you need more vitamins, just imagine how much better your life would instantly become. Cyberbroccoli = happiness.

Proteus, via Nature

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