Smart pills can transmit data to your doctors, but what about privacy? image

New Scientist, September 19, 2018
I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director) and Alex Pearlman (Communications Manager)

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From the article: 

Abilify MyCite, a pill-app combination that can be used to track the ingestion of drugs for bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, was the first such product approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in November 2017. Its roll-out to some Medicaid patients was announced last month.

“Smart pills” like these are part of a larger class of digital medicine products that include insulin pumps with continuous glucose monitoring and pacemakers that get software updates much like smartphones. Many others are in the pipeline. The hope, albeit one that still needs much more empirical investigation, is that such devices will provide doctors with more up-to-date information about patients between visits and assist researchers and agencies like the FDA to better monitor health outcomes in the real world.

Many, though, have reacted to these products with fear and concern. Terms like “snitch pill” and “biomedical big brother” have been bandied about. A paper co-written by one of us (I. Glenn Cohen), published in the American Journal of Bioethics this week, examines the many bioethical issues raised by these products.

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And check out the original paper in the American Journal of Bioethics!

alex pearlman bioethics biotechnology fda health information technology i. glenn cohen medicaremedicaid pharmaceuticals public health regulation research