The one we speak of is more along the lines of a digital pill. It comes equipped with capabilities that allow physicians to confirm patients are actually taking their prescriptions.
And this makes a lot of sense in certain scenarios. For instance, a schizophrenic must take their daily dose to prevent psychotic episodes.
But let’s take a closer look at the smart pill and how it’s changing the future of the medical industry.
Why Is the Smart Pill Important?
Let’s give some perspective to the concept of using smart pills. When patients don’t take their medications as prescribed, it costs the country between $100 billion and $289 billion.
Not to mention, it also contributes to increased patient harm and treatment setbacks. By introducing smart pills, this reduces medical costs and mishaps.
These medications have microchips that act as digital ingestion tracking systems. One the pills are taken, the IEM sensor communicates this to the patch the patient wears. This patch then communicates with an app on the patient’s smartphone.
It’s an advanced way for doctors to ensure their patients are taking their meds as directed.
Abilify the First to Introduce the Smart Pill
Abilify is one medication that’s taken the lead in this innovation. This is an anti-psychotic drug that’s used to treat patients with schizophrenia, Tourette’s Syndrome, ADHD, bipolar disorder, and depression.
It helps reduce irritability, agitation, and depression oftentimes found in children and adults with the aforementioned conditions.
The Pros and Cons of the Smart Pill
As expected, there are some arguments regarding ethical issues surrounding these advanced pills. On one side, people are worried it infringes on our privacy and rights. And others note how certain disorders left untreated can cause more harm than good.
For instance, a schizophrenic can have a psychotic episode and hurt themselves or others. There’s no doubt about it – mental illness kills people and shortens lifespans.
Plus, episodes of psychosis can actually damage the brain. With proper medical treatment, all of this can be avoided.
But if patients aren’t mentally well or have poor memory, then taking their drugs at the right times becomes problematic.
At the end of the day, smart pills can reduce medical costs by reducing health risks, admittance into psychiatric wards and the emergency room.
The Question of Ethics
Since Abilify MyCite is the first to step up to use smart pills, it’s raising eyebrows about how the medical industry will set ethical grounds for its use.
Some experts are calling for a panel of clinicians to ensure patients with mental illness aren’t just forced into treatment.
Surely, ethical guidelines will come about as this medical marvel grows in popularity.
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