Caregivers may no-longer have to worry whether or not their elderly loved one is taking their meds, thanks to a new type of medication monitoring device.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced the approval of the first ever microchip capable of being ingested by human beings.
Smaller than a grain of sand, the chip can be attached to a variety of different prescription pills and is designed to emit a signal once it hits a person's stomach.
As part of an integrated health feedback system, people taking the digitally-tagged pills also wear a small skin patch that records: the type of medication, the time it was taken, as well as the activity and heart rate of the individual taking the pill. The patch then transmits this information to the person's doctor and caregiver (if they have one), allowing them to keep an eye on their adherence and response to a particular medication regimen.
So far, this particular digital hitch-hiker has only been authorized for use with placebo pills. But experts hope that health feedback systems will eventually be able to be used to help people manage complicated chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.