Background Evaluating drug treatment adherence and understanding all the many aspects that may have an influence on it are decisive factors for developing strategies for improving treatment compliance. These strategies are also vital if health professionals are going to effectively control chronic diseases. A new edible integrated circuit-based technology was recently developed and it is proving a promising tool for the evaluation of drug treatment adherence.
Purpose The main purpose of the present study is to describe an innovative digital system that is used to evaluate oral drug treatment adherence. It allows professionals to overcome many of the disadvantages related to the currently used methods of evaluating treatment adherence.
Materials and methods To evaluate treatment adherence using the newly-developed digestible integrated circuit-based technology. A literature review was conducted involving all references to the mentioned digital system. Additionally there was a review of the website of the North American company involved with its manufacturing (Proteus Biomedical, Inc., Redwood City, CA, USA, http://www.proteus.com/).
Results The newly-developed digital system consists of an edible sensor, composed of an integrated circuit (IC) coated with magnesium on one side and copper on the other side. This is incorporated into the solid oral drug (pills/tablets or capsules). After the medicine is taken the sensor is activated by the gastric fluid and starts sending a signal to a portable detector which allows the person to record the time and date on which the medicine was taken. The system can also indicate whether all the drugs were taken by the patient by varying the ICs that are planted on each pill/tablet/capsule. The portable detector, which also records a variety of the patient’s physiological data (e.g. blood pressure, heart rate, temperature) allows data transmission through a mobile network to a secure server which collects all the data and syncs with other portable/ wireless devices (e.g. smart phone, tablet or computer). Summarised reports are generated periodically for patients and health care providers. The digital system has been shown to have highly sensitivity (97.0%), a high specificity rate (97.7%) and an excellent precision when it came to the various digestible sensors (100%). Clinical and pre-clinical trials revealed an excellent safety profile.
Conclusions This system is an innovative tool for evaluating treatment compliance with orally administered drugs, demonstrating vast applicability in the professional pharmaceutical field. Moreover, this system shows a great potential for increasing efficacy and safety in drug treatment. Its implementation in Portugal would, unarguably, bring benefits both for patients as well as to the National Health System.
No conflict of interest.
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