Researchers at the University of Florida have developed a prototype of an ingestible pill capsule containing a microchip and an antenna, which automatically alerts doctors or family members when it is ingested. When it is popped in, the microchip in the pill transmits a signal to an external electronic device which then alerts a cell phone or computer, informing the patient’s doctor or family. The pill doesn’t require a battery as it is powered by short bursts of low-voltage charge sent by the external device.
The stomach acid breaks down the antenna and the microchip passes through the digestive tract, but not before the pill confirms its own ingestion. The pill was successfully tested in artificial human models. The research is significant as studies have shown that non compliance with prescriptions causes over 200,000 deaths each year and this smart pill may help patients take their medications in a more timely manner.