Hope you’re comfortable swallowing your tech, because America’s first digital pill is here. The drug, called Abilify MyCite, is an antipsychotic that can be used to treat schizophrenia and some cases of bipolar disorder. But unlike regular tablets, the pills contain a small ingestible sensor to record when they’re taken.
When ingested, the sensor registers against a smart patch worn by the patient, and it transmits data to a phone. In turn—if the patient chooses—that information can be shared with medics, caregivers, or family members.
That could be particularly useful for elderly people with faltering memories, for example, to track whether they are taking their drugs. Indeed, it’s hoped that the technology will reduce the bill caused by non-adherence to prescriptions, which for the U.S. has been estimated at up to $100 billion per year.
It’s a seminal moment for digital medicine: we’ve written about such pills for at least a decade, so their approval has been a long time coming. Still, not everyone’s happy about the news. Speaking to the New York Times, psychiatrist Peter Kramer warned of privacy concerns, calling digital drugs “a potentially coercive tool.”
Humans and technology
Technology that lets us “speak” to our dead relatives has arrived. Are we ready?
Digital clones of the people we love could forever change how we grieve.
How to befriend a crow
I watched a bunch of crows on TikTok and now I'm trying to connect with some local birds.
How Twitter’s “Teacher Li” became the central hub of China protest information
In his own words, the Chinese painter shares how he became a one-person newsroom during a week of intense protests against China's zero-covid policy.
Meta is desperately trying to make the metaverse happen
Will web access and avatar legs be enough?
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.