Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Pill Monitor

PostedApril 6, 2008

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Randy Atkins:  Your medications might one day send dosing information to a monitor on, or in, your skin -- a device that could also check your vitals.  George Savage is a co-founder of Proteus Biomedical.

George Savage:  There was a real opportunity to add computers, intelligent sensing and actuators to the body, to really help manage chronic disease.

Randy Atkins:  Savage says a sand grain-sized transmitter, made of safe materials, is tucked inside pills.  It powers up on contact with stomach fluid, then sends data while passing through your digestive system.

George Savage:  It's a signal in your body, very low level, such that if you're in contact with an electrical recording device, you can get out the signal, but it can't be read at a distance.

Randy Atkins:  So the stats remain between you and your doctor.  With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, 103.5 FM, WTOP Radio.

Human trials are underway, and the technology could be available in three years.