When your doctor prescribes a smart pill chances are it’s not something that will increase your brain power but rather a pill with brain power. Pills with brains could seem like a far fetched idea but that’s just because most people hold on to the literal notion of a brain as the mass of gray matter contained within a human skull. But this is not about that. This is about a new generation pills with built-in methods of sending data back to doctors or with powers to deliver medication in pre-arranged steps.
In one case for the brainy pills, researchers indicate that a high volume of patients either don’t take their drugs or don’t take their drugs on time or in the prescribed manner. And this probably because the drugs don’t come in chocolate chip cookies and malts. Regardless, the consequence of such behavior is thought to cost the US around $100 billion. But now, advanced pill technology has the potential to remedy this state of affairs.
Smart pills can send messages to smart phones which can then “beam” the information to smart doctors who can then use smart apps to …well, who knows. Beyond spying on patients, smart pills can also deliver medication in precise amounts at designated points in the body. Think lower and upper parts of the digestive tract here. Smart pills can track adverse reactions due to allergies or other drugs in a patient.
Additionally, scientists are working on smart pill bottles and caps that phone patients who haven’t taken their medicine. Pill cap phone home. Taken a step further all this pill science could eventually diagnose illness and encourage patients to go to the clinic. No word yet on pills or apps that could actually drive the patient to the clinic. But we eagerly await new romancing with chemicals.