Electronic pills could be the answer to medication reminders - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

4/4/10

Electronic pills could be the answer to medication reminders

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By Kristin Beerman | email

Edited by Jon Bush | email 

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – Remembering whether or not you took your medication could soon be a thing of the past. In fact even your doctor might know if you forget a dose.  A new electronic pill developed by the University of Florida not only reminds you that it's time to take a pill, but it allows your doctor to check to see if you're following the prescription.

The pill works by using a small tag located on the capsule that's like a bar code scanned at a grocery store.  As soon as it's swallowed, an external reader such as a watch or cell phone can be used to see if the pill has entered the body.

"Once the patient ingests the pill, it basically verifies the presence of the pill by sending some electrical signals into the body," said Rizwan Bashirullah, an electrical engineer.  "That essentially what it does is it activates the tag or the device inside and the tag basically replies with a message saying that I'm in the digestive tract."

So far, it works on animals and researchers say it's been successful in simulated human digestive systems.  It's not available yet, but researchers predict this electronic pill will benefit the healthcare industry by significantly improving the number of patients who really do, follow doctor's orders.

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