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Medicines with embedded microchip!

Posted: 19 Jan 2012     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:medical  microchip 

US firm Proteus Biomedical has announced a new-age pill that integrates sensors to monitor the patients' medication use. The product, called 'Helius' is also termed as digestible edible microchip.

Helius contains sensors called 'ingestible event markers (IEM)', which can be taken with pills or incorporated directly into medicines as part of the manufacturing process.

Proteus' Helius combines "sensor-enabled tablets, a sensor patch worn on the body, an advanced mobile health application and information service, enabling the consumers to monitor when medications have been taken along with a range of additional patient information including sleep patterns and physical activity."

"These metrics are then combined to provide useful information to follow progress and collaborate on maintaining patient wellness," Proteus commented.

"The most important and basic thing we can monitor is the actual physical use of the medicine," quoted Andrew Thompson, chief executive of Proteus, as saying. "We have tested the system in hundreds of patients in many different therapeutic areas. It's been tested in tuberculosis, in mental health, in heart failure, in hypertension and in diabetes."

Proteus has partnered with UK pharmacy chain Lloydspharmacy to commercialise and launch Helius.

Steve Grey, director, Lloydspharmacy Healthcare Services, added, "Lloydspharmacy is committed to improving positive health outcomes for patients and the Helius system is an exciting development which takes our current medication adherence offering to a whole new level. There is a huge problem with medicines not being taken correctly. Anyone taking several medications knows how easy it can be to lose track of whether or not you've taken the correct tablets that day. Add to that complex health issues and families caring for loved ones who may not live with them and you can appreciate the benefits of an information service that helps patients get the most from their treatments and for families to help them remain well."

The World Health Organisation estimates that 50 per cent of patients fail to take their medicines correctly. This can result in patients not gaining the full benefit of their treatment or worse, being at risk of harmful reactions.

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