Edible Microchip Sensor in new Proteus-Otsuka Abilify

The “Beyond the Pill” movement marked a major milestone with the FDA’s acceptance of the first digital medicine-New Drug Application. It will pair Proteus Digital Health’s ingestible sensor platform with Otsuka Pharmaceuticals’ FDA-approved Abilify drug to treat people with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and in some cases for major depressive disorder to monitor adherence.

The Abilify tablet contains an ingestible sensor that communicates with a wearable sensor patch and medical software application. The idea is to measure adherence.

Otsuka CEO for development and commercialization Dr. William Carson said in a statement that patients suffering from severe mental illnesses struggle with adhering to or communicating with their healthcare teams about their medication regimen, which can greatly impact outcomes and disease progression.

The technology behind the embedded sensor is pretty cool. Stomach juices activate an energy source — similar to a potato starch battery. The embedded sensor sends signals to a skin patch electrode, which wirelessly transmits information such as vital signs, body position and verification of medication ingestion.

The sensor would be embedded during the drug manufacturing process as a combination drug-device, communicating with the Proteus patch and relevant medical software. If approved, the combination drug-device could be used to tailor medicines more closely to reflect each of our medication-taking patterns and lifestyle choices, Andrew Thompson, Proteus Digital Health CEO said in a statement.


I think this is really interesting. They are using this technology for all kinds of different medicine now so that people are helped to keep on their medicine schedule. My only concern in the schizophrenia market would be that people might be paranoid about swallowing a pill that has a tiny sensor in it.

What do you think - would you take a medicine with a sensor chip in it that helps you to remember to take your medicine?

Here is how it works - see below:


You and I share that concern.

Absolutely not. I do not have an adherence problem, but I don’t think we need to get into people’s bodies like that. What would happen if it was exposed to an MRI? What would happen if you were seeing a GI doctor, and they want your system to be cleaned out? What if you don’t have/want a smartphone (like me)?

No. Just no.


Very strange indeed …


It would certainly help with those of us who currently, like me, are on a depot due to poor adherence with oral meds caused by forgetfulness. The only draw back for me is the need for a mobile . My current mobile which is over 10 years old I haven’t used for several years and it’s not equipped to use such technology . Given my lack of contacts a new mobile isn’t something that’s high on my list of priorities.
It does seem though that mobiles are becoming an important factor in trying to improve symptoms/adherence/treatment.

No thank you. I can remember to take my medications. Cool concept though.

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Take it back jack.


Yeah. Let me get right on taking a pill so that god knows who can monitor me. Great idea!

No. Not happening.


It’s like a parody news story… but it’s real.


This shouldn’t even be optional, they should do this with all medications.


They might…

Welcome back Malvok - hope all is well. Long time no see.

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It will start with us as it always does.

And then on to the rest.

And it will most certainly be mandatory.

Oh boy, we’re all gettin chipped.


Not sure about that!

I have two questions what is the outcome they are looking for and since when is schizophrenia a disease? more revenue from the drug it says digital pill for better outcomes. and progression of the disease. I thought it was a disorder.

I can just see it now, you’ll have an annoying message on your smart phone that makes beep noises every few minutes to take your medicines until you do, like modern cars that force you to buckel up! :stuck_out_tongue:

they cant even put correct labels on the medications how are they going to pull this one off

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Hello, everyone. I asked the administration of this site if I could pose this question directly to you and they gave me permission.

If you were personally prescribed this digital pill, would you take it? Why or why not?

This technology is still under review. One of the US FDA’s criteria for approval of this new device is that it is usable for patients. From your replies here, it seems that it doesn’t quite meet that criteria.

I’m writing an article about the acceptability of this new technology on the basis of: ethics (does it violate your privacy? Does it violate your autonomy? Does it violate your self-determination?)

Also, on the basis of practicability – isn’t paranoia one symptom of schizophrenia? Would people having paranoia actually take a pill with a sensor?

Hope you speak and let your voice be heard – technology or no technology, patient acceptance is still paramount. Right?

Oh, please indicate if I can quote your response (or not). You can use your username or not. I’d appreciate it. Thank you. I really value your input.

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I personally don’t agree with this technology as I find it to be an invasion of privacy. Otsuka is a Japanese company and Japan is known to still be in the dark ages when it comes to mental health care, so keep that in mind.

I would absolutely NOT take this pill. It would increase my paranoia problems. I don’t care what anyone says about how it is safe and not secretly a GPS monitor that can track your every mood. Even though I know it is probably fine, it just wouldn’t happen for me.


I would absolutely take this pill. I’m already on Abilify and am eager to try it. I hope it can provide detailed information to help with my treatment. We don’t have to fear technology.

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