Leveraging technology to follow and occur on sufferers’ prescription adherence has been the topic of various studies. Sensors that can be added to insulin pens, smart auto-injectors for the sufferers with MS, sensors for inhalers, active pill bottles, and bio-ingestible sensors are some of the evolving techs.
Investigations have concentrated on all of these fields, with all the benefits and drawbacks of their way being assessed for the patient care combination. Nevertheless, there has not been a blockbuster up to this time, leaving the market wide open for novel startups to produce digital health interferences.
The bio-ingestible sensor space has lately seen big headlines with the only two businesses in the market.
Electrix (formerly EtectBio) gained FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approval on their ID-Cap® System in December 2019.1 This system provides a medication—tablet or capsule—to be co-encapsulated into a pill with a sensor described an ID-Capsule.
When applied, it will dissolve, and send out a signal through RFID (radio-frequency identification) to an outside receiver that a sufferer is consuming, such as an ID-Cap Reader, a device on a lanyard worn around the neck. This ingestion information is then delivered to the user’s smartphone to sync the data, which can then be shared with others, such as a patient’s provider.
In a clinical investigation of 180 sufferers, the ID-Cap® System will be utilized to produce a record of adherence for more than 20,000 doses of HIV medicine. The study is being conducted at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in conjunction with the National Institutes of Health.2
Proteus Digital Health, another company that makes a bio-ingestible sensor detected with a worn patch on the user, brought to market with Otsuka Pharmaceuticals the first ‘working’ pill, Abilify MYCITE, two years ago. This output is focused on patients with schizophrenia, major depressive disease, and bipolar disorder. Nevertheless, Proteus has lately had financial problems and is reportedly undergoing a period of restructure.3
Bio-Ingestible Sensor Investigation
Bioingestible sensors might play a significant role in several conditions, such as mental health, infectious disease (e.g., HIV, TB, Hepatitis), and oral oncology. This is due to various factors, including patient disposition, drug costs, and public health matters. We have seen both etectRx and Proteus Digital Health lead studies in these spaces, and there have been takeup from some payors, health system sciences, pharma, and researchers.
Nonetheless, bio-ingestible sensors, and maybe all prescription adherence technology, focus principally on adherence itself. Digital well-being offers a novel possibility to have more considerable insights on sufferers’ characteristics than we could in the past.
This involves their medication-taking behavior, but also other circumstances that can be gathered from wearables or other ancillary sensors. Bioingestible sensors suggested perhaps 1 of the first practical objective measurements of medication adherence in the patient home setting for oral medications.
I believe it would be unusual to quantify how adherence and prescription delivery could be utilized with other data to monitor therapeutic outcomes and sufferer safety matters. One instance is the nature of sleep, with Z-drugs having a high utilization but with interest around sufferer falls.
Can we move the time and say, “look, you take your medicine at 8 pm, but are on your telephone until 10 pm, and then you still get up at night numerous times,” which could support us figure out if it is sleeping hygiene issue or that the medicine is not the best for the sufferer, and something else could be used.
This could all be performed in real-time, negating a patient’s logistical burden of reaching back to a clinic several weeks later to self-report their particular history for a clinician to make a corrective decision.
To Sum Up
Electrix will be another choice for how we approach medicine adherence, and pharmacologists and other health care providers require to start thinking about means of leveraging the data other than saying the sufferer took their pills. Major AI (artificial intelligence) and data analytics technology can elevate how we optimize sufferers’ prescriptions, and this is one tool that can help us in the future. We need to be prepared to handle that capacity.