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The doctor will know if you're not taking your meds now
16 November 2017, 02:03 | Sam Montgomery
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It can also be used in the acute treatment of manic and mixed episodes associated with bipolar I disorder so it has the potential to do a whole lot of good.
Abilify MyCite is an antipsychotic pill that uses a sensor-based technology to help patients, as well as doctors, keep track of ingestion, a message to a wearable sensor patch where the information is then forwarded to a smartphone app. At first techno-blush, concerns about Big Brother tapping one's body fall to the wayside; patients can voluntarily give access to the information gathered by the sensor to their doctor and designated family members or caretakers.
Dr Mitchell Mathis, director of the division of psychiatry products at the FDA, said: "Being able to track ingestion of medications prescribed for mental illness may be useful for some patients".
Abilify is a drug used to treat neurological conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorders. The FDA noted that product is not for use in emergency or real-time situations, as detection could be delayed or not occur.
The pill comes after years of research and is a venture between Japanese pharmaceutical company Otsuka and digital medicine service Proteus Digital Health, which makes the sensor.
The information that the sensors can send out can include the dosage, the exact time when the pill was taken, and even what the patient was doing at the time. Doctors and health care providers have to get your permission first to track the data.much like those opt-in auto insurance tracking devices customers can get discounts for if they install the device in their cars.
The sensor activates when the pill gets wet in the patient's stomach.
In other words, that old hide-the-pill-under-your-tongue trick will not work here.
The medicine, however, is not used to treat patients who suffer from psychosis related to dementia.
Studies have not yet shown whether the addition of a digital tracking system will improve how well people comply with their medication regimen.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 6.7% of American adults experienced a major depressive episode in the past 12 months, while lifetime prevalence for bipolar disorder is almost 4% and for schizophrenia almost 1%. Ensuring that a patient is actually taking their meds has, up to now, relied on the word of the patient, but the honor system is about to go the way of the dodo thanks to a new "digital pill" technology that can actually track whether or not you're sticking to the doctor's orders. "With this FDA approval, Otsuka can help enable individuals with serious mental illness to engage with their care team about their treatment plan in a new way".
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