FDA Approves ‘Abilify MyCite,’ the First Digital Pill


American patients will no longer miss on a scheduled medication thanks to the discovery in the field of medicine. The FDA approved Abilify MyCite, the first ever digital pill that has a tiny sensor that sends the medication data to a patch that the patient wears on their left rib cage.

After the indigestible sensor sends the data, the patch then transfers that information to a mobile phone app on the patient’s smartphone. They can then transmit the medical data to their doctor’s database voluntarily.

Other than the treatment of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, the pill can also serve as an add-on to depression treatment.

How Does Abilify MyCite Work?

As mentioned above, the pill has a tiny sized sensor, a grain of sand to be precise, designed from silicone, magnesium, and copper. When the digital medicine comes in contact with stomach acid, it activates an electrical signal that travels naturally through the body and to the patch. The sensor also moves through the body smoothly without causing any pain or discomfort.

The patch on the left rib cage receives the information a while after the patient takes the pill, and sends it to the patient’s smartphone app. The patient then shares the data collected with their doctor, which might include the time they took the pill and dosage taken.

The information received from Abilify MyCite is also accessible to three other people that the patients give clearance; they can be family members or highly trusted friends. The patient has the rights to revoke access anytime.

The digital sensor also sends to the patch information like the patient’s sleep patterns, heartbeat rates, steps taken while walking and other vital health data. The patient must replace the pill at an interval of one week.

Abilify MyCite is as a result of many years of research. And it is going to save the United States the losses brought about by the improper intake of medicine. The digital pill is a joint venture between Otsuka, a Japanese pharmaceutical company, and Proteus Digital Health, which is manufacturing the sensor.

By FDA approving Abilify MyCite, the agency opened doors to other inventories aimed at digitizing other medicine for different health conditions other than the mental health.

Dangers Associated With the Digital Pill

Allowing the digital medicine into the market poses a significant threat to the privacy of the patients. Experts expressed their concerns that the digital pill might be a way of tracking patients who do not comply and subject them to punishment.

Ameet Sarpatwari is an instructor at the Harvard school of medicine, and he says that the digital medication is an essential move towards improvement of the healthcare sector. However, if not correctly used, it can foster a higher level of mistrust than trust.

The manufacturers of Abilify MyCite have not yet indicated the market price of the pill.