Look Out -- Your Medicine is Watching You

Novartis AG is planning to seek regulatory approval for a pill that contains an embedded microchip. The ingestible chips are activated by stomach acid and send information to a small patch worn on your skin. The patch can then transmit data to a smartphone or send it over the Internet to a doctor.

Longer-term, Novartis hopes to expand the "smart pill" concept to other types of medicine and use the wealth of biometric information to check that drugs are working properly.

According to Reuters:

“Because the tiny chips are added to existing drugs, Novartis does not expect to have to conduct full-scale clinical trials to prove the new products work. Instead, it aims to do so-called bioequivalence tests to show they are the same as the original. A bigger issue may be what checks should be put in place to protect patients' personal medical data as it is transmitted from inside their bodies by wireless and Bluetooth.”

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