More on microchips and pills

Since we’ve been keeping tabs on Proteus Biomedical — lately, its major investment from Novartis (13 Jan), The Economist now digs and finds some more entrants.  Philips is now promoting an ‘intelligent pill’ and a US startup called MicroCHIPS is developing implants that hold drugs or monitoring devices.  They include mentions of Vitality GlowCaps (wireless pill bottle caps, see CES and Connected Health Symposium coverage), Vodafone and Orange mobile platforms.  Analysis on why this category is now hot:  with many ‘blockbuster’ drugs on the verge of patent expiry and few in the works, drug companies are now focusing on increasing adherence (read, consumption)–one-third to 50% of medications are not taken as prescribed, leading to an estimated $100 million in ‘needless hospitalizations.’  Great description of exactly how Proteus’ system works (microchip activated by stomach acid, sends signal to skin patch or implant that sends signal via phone) that isn’t in their materials.  Put this editor in the ‘spooked’ corner with Medtronic’s Stephen Oesterle–what happens over time to those little chips in your tummy?  Economist article.