Healthcare is going Bionic - First ever ‘Digital Pill’ approvedsteemCreated with Sketch.

in steemstem •  last month

The value of digital technologies probably comes as no surprise to the average person on Steemit

The average doctor, on the other hand, probably has little idea about blockchains, artificial intelligence, the potential application of digital technology to healthcare, and so on

But that is starting to change


And this can I imagine be no more clearly highlighted than by the approval two days of the world’s first ever ‘digital pill’

A digital pill, or at least this particular digital pill, is a medication containing a sensor that can tell doctors when a patient has taken their medication

It looks something like this

Source

This is pretty cool, because it has the potential, if it works, to address patient adherence to their medication – the huge and expensive problem caused by patients not taking their drugs as prescribed

To put this in perspective, the percentage of asthma patients that do not take their medication as prescribed is quoted as being in the 30-50% range. Almost half of them!! When an asthma patient doesn’t take their medication, their asthma is more likely to be uncontrolled, which means they are more likely to have an exacerbation and get sick, which means they are more likely to get admitted to hospital, which means they are more likely to die, and of course they cost the healthcare system more money…

It’s a big problem, across virtually all types of disease – how much does it cost, nobody knows, but you will hear figures in the Hundreds of Billions being thrown about – that’s a lot of STEEM 

What is this pill?

This specific pill is a version of the antipsychotic drug Abilify, used to treat schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders. It is an interesting choice of drug for this type of technology

  • On the one hand, psychiatric patients typically have very high rates of non-adherence – once treated and (hopefully) improved, it is unfortunately quite common for the patient to think that they are now better and that they no longer need the medication. So they stop taking it and relapse
  • On the other hand they tend to be paranoid and as a result don’t like taking medication - what better way to make them more paranoid than a medication with a tracking sensor?!?

The sensor has been developed to generate an electric signal when it comes into contact with stomach acid. This signal is detected by a patch (apparently like wearing a band-aid) that can be worn for seven days. The patch captures the date and time that the pill was taken and sends it to a smartphone app which lets the patient, their doctors and up to four other people (e.g. family members, carers) access the data – it is entirely voluntary, it should be said

How it works

Source

What are the implications

This is just a first approval, and probably represents the first of what will in future be countless different use cases for technologies of this type. Just like SMTs, this type of technology could be used across multiple areas of healthcare – off the top of my head:

  • Monitoring patient adherence
  • Improving clinical trial data quality
  • Price discounts from insurers for patients that exceed a certain adherence level
  • Monitoring of patients released from institutions on condition that they take a specific medicine

And in future, maybe we’ll even be able to do this

Source

It is an interesting first step, but many questions remain

For example, this technology tracks adherence, but has not yet been proven to improve adherence. What is the point of tracking something if you can’t actually demonstrate that you can improve it? Or at least define an intervention based off the data that you can prove delivers better outcomes?

These are valid questions and the answers to them are coming. There are multiple companies, from start-ups all the way up to the likes of Google, exploring these technologies, and the goal with all of them is to is to improve adherence, or some other metric, and then to link that improvement to better patient outcomes

In the years to come you can expect to see big changes in this area and this will become the norm - in future it may not be pharma companies, but tech companies, that are delivering the real innovation in healthcare

Thanks for reading, I’m off to watch Inner Space

Holbein81

Authors get paid when people like you upvote their post.
If you enjoyed what you read here, create your account today and start earning FREE STEEM!
Sort Order:  trending

Yikes man. I think this is more scary and controlling than cool and beneficial. Sounds like Big Brother to me. If I don't want to take my meds one day and I'm on one of the trackers, can they call CPS to come take my kids away? Or send me to jail? Just because my doctor thinks I should be taking whatever it is. If I get a second opinion and they don't agree with the first doctor, but I'm being told I have to be on the tracker, what happens then? There are ways around actually taking it too if all it has to do is come into contact with stomach acid - throw up on the pill, have someone else take it, give it to your dog. Man, this is sounding better and better the more I think about it. ;) Yikes.

·

I agree with you!

·

It's voluntary - patients can choose to take part or not, it is just a way of trying to address a clear problem. For example if a patient is very forgetful or disorganized - which is often the case with mental health - then this could send reminders and help them to manage their illness better

I am now aware of doctors forcing patients to take specific medications. But if your doctor prescribes something and you don't want to take it, then you need to go and talk to your doctor. I don't think this will change anything in that scenario ;-)

The only scenario I can see where it may be used in a forceful way is in a criminal setting

But to your general point, I think that there are concerns over data privacy and so on - it's very early still

Cheers

·
·

I know people who have had CPS called just for asking for a second opinion because it delayed treatment for their child. I also know of cases where the parents decided to look for an alternative cancer fighting medication instead of giving their child chemo and the child was taken away because the "doctor always knows best, the parent doesn't have the child's best interest at heart." Even the little boy recently whose doctors decided he would die at the hospital (in England) while the parents had found alternative treatments in the US. The hospital wouldn't release him for treatment. You see, doctors, hospital, governments always know what is best and will do anything to make you do it. Yikes. The less power/control they have, the better. This might be voluntary now, but when will it be massed produced and rolled out for everyone and all pills? Just sharing my thoughts.

·
·
·

Me too! All of this tends to get very emotive and nobody wins these debates, so I tend to avoid them...

But just to touch on the two examples you cite

Knowing nothing about the first - looking for alternative treatment options is great if they exist, but if parents are refusing proven treatments in order to try unproven ones then that gets pretty complicated. Science may not be perfect and we have a lot to learn, but it's the best we have...

For the second, the case of the little boy in the UK is incredibly sad, made all the sadder by the level and nature of the press coverage in the UK and US. The article linked below is well worth a read, in particular the passage about the US professor and his 'treatment'

http://www.melaniephillips.com/cruel-ignorant-campaign/

Cheers

·
·
·
·

The thing with Charlie is they didn't even give the treatment a chance to work - whether it did or not - they decided for his parents that he would die at the hospital. He couldn't even be taken home to die. Sad. Yes, media coverage was crazy for all of that and I don't even live in the US! It was all over my fb and msn news. I can't imagine what the TV news was saying (I always have steered clear of that though)! Thanks for the link to the article. Yes, dealing with stuff like this is always emotional and I tend to now be more conservative than I may have been in the past. This is a short 4 minute clip a friend shared on fb today that I thought was applicable in some ways to our discussion. :) https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/887406 "Parental Authority Should Be Overridden for a Sick Child" - He says at the end that parents whose kids die because they did something other than the prescribed route should be prosecuted. Not spend time in jail but just set a precedence by being prosecuted and receive community service. So he is saying parents should not be allowed to make medical decisions for their kids, but where does that stop? Anyway, the technology in this pill is pretty amazing - it just freaks me out at the same time. ;)

·
·
·
·
·

The thing with Charlie is that - from everything I have read - there never was a chance. Of course he deserved every chance to live, but this was not a chance - the doctor that got involved in this despite having never seen him or his scans admitted as much. His amazing new ‘treatment’ had never even been tested on an animal before, never mind a human. But he thought it might be a treatment option for children in the future. And then the press picked it up, and then the Pope and Donald Trump and every other idiot looking for some publicity. And they gave the parents false hope - the parents rightly did everything they could to save their child, but they were surrounded by people who, just perhaps, had other motives. That is what is most sad.

The link you sent wouldn’t open - can you re-send.

Here is my two cents on parental authority:

I wrote a post a few weeks ago on a new treatment - CAR-T therapy - for leukaemia. This treatment is working in many children that would otherwise die. Imagine two sets of parents with children eligible for this treatment

Parents 1 says that they refuse the treatment because they want to try unproven alternative therapies - here, in my opinion, there needs to be an intervention. There should be no parental authority whatsoever here.

Parents 2 say that they accept the treatment, even though they would prefer to use alternate therapies. They ask if they can use the alternative therapies as well. This sounds ideal to me

In short - my view, which is just my view, is that parental authority should absolutely be overridden if what the parents are trying to do is clearly (in as much as we scientifically know right now) not in the best interests of their child

Anyway, I think I am done for a Friday evening!!

Cheers

·
·
·
·
·
·

We will have to agree to disagree on this point. :) I checked the link and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Maybe if you refresh or search for the video Perspective > Ethics: Today's Hot Topics for Nov. 1, but it sounds like you do believe what the doctor says and that is where we disagree.

·
·
·
·
·
·
·

For sure we can agree to disagree - nothing wrong with that!

Have a good weekend!

Very interesting post @holbein81. I have mixed feelings about it, but honestly think that this is the tip of the iceburg and healthcare will be better for it. Being a diabetic and a cardiac patient, I can see definite benefits. But it is scary, too! Upvoted, resteemed and made sure that I was following you @holbein81.

·

Thanks for the comment - I think your comment is right on, I imagine that all medicine will be digital in some way in the future

Cheers

Great post @holbein81
I saw this news this morning and was amazed!

·

Thanks man, it sounds pretty cool and space-age, will see how it goes!

Cheers

The change sin medicine and technology are getting pretty damn amazing thanks for the info very interesting

·

Indeed, there is something every day coming out in the news! But a bit time-consuming to find and write about...

·
·

I would imagine find all this info must be sobrime consu

That's pretty cool to know thanks for the tips by the way :)

·

Hey, thanks for commenting!
What do you mean by tips?

Cheers

it is only the beginning, nice post and good content.
upvoted

·

The beginning of what? You mean the beginning of digital technology in healthcare?

·
·

Congratulations @holbein81! You have completed some achievement on Steemit and have been rewarded with new badge(s) :

Award for the number of upvotes

Click on any badge to view your own Board of Honor on SteemitBoard.
For more information about SteemitBoard, click here

If you no longer want to receive notifications, reply to this comment with the word STOP

By upvoting this notification, you can help all Steemit users. Learn how here!

My friend, @holbein81 Here is a well deserved up-vote for you! I never forget anyone who helps me become stronger and you fed me with 3.4 STEEM and the last time you fed me was 22 days ago. Your effort meets my strength and enables me to help you and your friends even more!

Yours, Spinny

I like very much when everyone who feeds me also reads my friend’s posts, so please visit @justinashby and read what he has to say! Your name will also appear here. :-) Join my Discord server if you want to meet others: https://discord.gg/Mz2EZP3

Powered by @adsactly.

You've received an upvote from #TheUnmentionables - a SteemIt community full of members who like to kick ass, take names, and occasionally do it wearing (or forgetting to wear) our unmentionables...

Unmentionables

Please upvote this comment so we can help our members grow faster!

It has been almost ten years since my children were stolen by the U.S. government. I have attempt to comprehend the world for the last six after I had no hope of fighting the system, and my ex's parents paying and lying all the way to the signed adoption papers.

I know this may not have anything to do with this. But I ask you this, the pharmaceutical companies are not really governed. Most of the pills are horrible for you, the shots given at birth are bad and completely manipulate any child to grow mentally properly. I had to surrender many things that I liked and loved to do and thought were okay to be able to speak like one does about these people.
If the government can steal my children along with countless others, you think that they are worried about your health. The skin only requires one protein to remain healthy and you will find 95% of the food does not have it and that most do not even know that this is a fact or that it exists as one.
I will not apologize for pointing out how ones are trusting ones you have never met. You are as smart and intelligent as they are, one can do all the research to know what will work and how to make it work.
The word government means "to Control Mind", now think about how long governments have existed.
We all need to take a serious step back from what we have been told...
By Everyone....
Just ones thoughts coming out.
#cof

·

I completely agree. Government is wanting to take over everything, including our children. I wrote a post about them taking away parental authority. It is scary and it starts with us making little concessions like allowing medical professionals to know if and when we are taking our medication...whether you volunteer for the experimental drug or not. Yikes. Thanks for the comment.

·
·

I will hip one to a perspective Change for you....

Government is wanting to take over everything, including our chlidren

See the thing is that government has Already taken everything Including you.

I can say this because one has surrendered to the facts.

We were all born into this. All of Us. Period.

This is the tip of effects one is seeing with things like this pill it is not even close to the root cause or source of the continuation of this dysfunction and psychosis that the Most of the inhabitants here is completely under.

I say the word under for a very special reason because, being under- something like -standing. Puts humans on unequal terms from the moment you choose to even say the word understand. I will never stand under insanity which is what our world is powered on. Which Means we all start there first not sane first. So to get Sane One must accept that ones self was brain washed just like everyone you have ever met.

Hope this was not to much over the top. I am merely pointing out ones logic to the world and oneself. How do you fix a problem when ones do not even know that in every sentence ones make you do not accept the problem for what it Is, which is by design to keep ones thinking that it is, "Going to Happen" so ones fail to see this has "Already Happened". Well before both of us were ever Alive.

·
·
·

Just seen this exchange.

I don't know what the Government's agenda is, it's not my business

My post was about an interesting new technology that has been developed by a company and which will benefit patients, and of course will earn the company more money

That's about it from my perspective. I appreciate that others will read lots more into it - whether there is more to it or not I don't know, although I suspect not...

Thanks for commenting

Also just want to say that I'm sorry to hear you no longer have your children with you. I am a new father and can't really comprehend what that must be like

Cheers

·
·
·
·

Actually it is your business, the fact you don't think so, is in of itself, makes ones point.

·
·
·
·
·

Ok, let me rephrase

You may think it's my business

I disagree

·
·
·
·
·
·

The word government means "to control mind" if one finds it not ones business then one also is choosing that your mind is also not of your own business.

What I said about the word is a fact along with the perspective that follows it.

·
·
·
·
·
·
·

Neither what you said, nor the perspective that follows, are facts. You may think they are, that does not make them so.

  1. The origins of the word government is subject to quite some debate. It seems clear that the first part comes from 'gubernare', meaning to control. The origin of the 'ment' part is not so clear, although of course you will find countless conspiracy-minded websites which take your view.

  2. Even if you are correct on the origin, then the logical next step for your argument is that someone has to believe that the government (which one are you referring to by the way?) is trying to control everyone's minds. You may believe that, I don't.

  3. Even if your views on 1 and 2 turn out to be correct then to convince me you would need some actual proof that the government (which one?) has the ability to control my mind and is actually doing it. You have no proof, just theories.

that's very helpful post!!
thank you...

nice job

wow this is really cool to know thanks for this........../////////