Image: The new digital tablet featured with the patch which will monitor if you're taking your medication correctly (Proteus Digital Health)

WASHINGTON, DC - A new digital tablet has been approved by the FDA (US. Food and Drug Administration) which can monitor if you're taking your medication correctly. 

The first digital pill called Abilify MyCite, tracks if patients have taken their medication. A tiny indigestible sensor is fitted inside the tablet and communicates the information with a patch worn by the patient. 

The patch then transmits medication data to a smartphone app which the patient can voluntarily upload to a database for their doctor and other authorised persons to see.

The product is approved for the treatment of schizophrenia, acute treatment of manic and mixed episodes associated with bipolar I disorder and for use as an add-on treatment for depression in adults.

How it works:

1.The system works by sending a message from the pill’s sensor to a wearable patch.

2.The patch transmits the information to a mobile application so that patients can track the ingestion of the medication on their smart phone.

3. Patients can also permit their caregivers and physician to access the information through a web-based portal.

“Being able to track ingestion of medications prescribed for mental illness may be useful for some patients,” said Mitchell Mathis, M.D., director of the Division of Psychiatry Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

“The FDA supports the development and use of new technology in prescription drugs and is committed to working with companies to understand how technology might benefit patients and prescribers.”, said Mathis in a statement. 

The pill comes after years of research and is a venture between Japanese pharmaceutical company Otsuka and digital medicine service Proteus Digital Health, which makes the sensor. 

Otsuka hasn’t indicated how much the digitized Abilify pills will cost yet. The WSJ reports the company plans to work with some insurers in covering the digitised pills with production planned to be ramped up only if it can find willing insurers.

Abilify MyCite contains a Boxed Warning alerting health care professionals that elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis treated with antipsychotic drugs are at an increased risk of death.

In the clinical trials for Abilify, the most common side effects reported by adults taking Abilify were nausea, vomiting, constipation, headache, dizziness, uncontrollable limb and body movements (akathisia), anxiety, insomnia, and restlessness. 

Adittionally, skin irritation may also occur at the site of the MyCite patch placement in some patients.