Digital technology has been embedded in a “smart pill” that will rat on you if you don’t take it. It works by way of a sensor that gets tripped when your digestive juices activate it, and the sensor then sends a signal to a patch that you wear on your arm. The patch then sends a confirming signal to your cell phone, which transmits it to the hospital or probation officer, or whatever authority needs to know that you have or haven’t taken your pill.
Naturally, this has caused concerns about patient privacy. There have been red flags raised in the media about the chances that hackers could get a hold of the personal data that’s being transmitted or stored in the patches and phones.
The Federal Drug Administration is reviewing the first digital pill, which is a smart version of the schizophrenia drug, Abilify. If the agency approves it, the smart pill concept might be used with Alzheimer’s patients and others who are at risk of forgetting, or being unwilling, to take their meds.