Getting patients to take their pills is a big problem in the medical field. With complex illnesses come multiple prescriptions and complicated instructions that patients can find hard to follow. Have you ever been faced with the problem of trying to remember to take your medication on a regular basis? If yes, then your problems may well be over according to a new breakthrough.
The increased need for convenient, minimally invasive, and accurate therapeutic treatment strategies has led to an increased interest in research on smart pills.
The use of smart pills, which seemed futuristic and doubtful maybe 100 years ago, is now becoming a reality. The idea of having something that is minute but all-powerful in one’s body, and able to track bodily functions and put on alert of potential illnesses, has started to appeal to many people. Rapid advancements in science are paving the way for the commercial use of these gadgets and perhaps even in the next 5-6 years.
Smart pills are ordinary pills that have been modified to contain not poisonous microchips. The chip is activated by stomach fluids sending a signal to stomach/arm patches, which are about the size of a band-aid. The patch contains a receiver which decodes data about the drug. The receiver transmits the information to a mobile device, which tells patients when the next dose is due. The technology also provides other health data which includes heart rate, number of steps taken, activity levels, and sleep cycles.
Smart pills could become a profitable strategy for organizations looking to build additional revenue streams.
There is some criticism too that the idea of putting machines powerful enough to track various bodily functions directly into human bodies has not been received well by everyone. Some experts against the idea of smart pills have highlighted the fact that smart pills pose a significant health risk to users, particularly because their ingestion exposes the human body to bluetooth technology, which is linked with brain cancer. Experts say that the only way to avoid exposure is to not take the medication at all. Essentially, this would make data collection impossible.
Critics have also highlighted privacy issues. Experts are also concerned about the forceful use of the pills in the future and the likelihood of something that is voluntary turning into a mandatory government identification program.