Digital Pill Will Keep Tabs On Patients

Nov 15, 2017
Originally published on November 15, 2017 3:03 pm

Digital pills that report from inside your body on what you’ve taken and when. They’re approved. Where does this go?

We’ll also talk this hour about the GOP plan to repeal Obamacare’s individual mandate.

This show airs Wednesday at 10 a.m. EST. 

You take a pill, or you don’t.  It’s your business.  But this week, the FDA approved something new.  A digital pill that will talk to your doctor, your family, you.  When it hits your gut, it sends a signal that it’s been taken.  That’s handy if you’re forgetful.  Your doctor and family may be reassured.  Your insurance company feels better.  But how much do you want your medicine telling other people about you, your health, your habits?  This hour, On Point:  Brave new world.  Digital pills. —Tom Ashbrook


Caroline Chen, biotech and healthcare reporter at Bloomberg. (@CarolineYLChen)

Brian Anthony, director of MIT’s Master of Engineering in Manufacturing Program.

Paul AppelbaumProfessor of Psychiatry and director of the Division of Psychiatry, Law, and Ethics in the Department of Psychiatry at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University. (@appelbap)

From Tom’s Reading List:

Bloomberg: Digital Pill That Tracks Use When Swallowed Gets FDA Approval — “U.S. regulators approved the first medicine with an embedded sensor to help keep track of whether patients with mental illness are adhering to their prescriptions.”

CNBC: The First ‘Digital Pill’ Has Been Approved — Here’s How It Could Revolutionize Healthcare — “Digital pills, which typically include a sensor about the size of a grain of sand, can travel safely through the body and communicate with some kind of external device, like an app or a wearable patch.”

New York Times: First Digital Pill Approved To Worries About Biomedical ‘Big Brother’ — “Although voluntary, the technology is still likely to prompt questions about privacy and whether patients might feel pressure to take medication in a form their doctors can monitor.”

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