Hard gelatin capsule, biocompatible silver conductive ink, and silicon semiconductor chip
7/8" (2.3 cm) high, 1/4" (0.9 cm) diam.
Numerous studies tell us that patients are often unreliable about taking medications, both in clinical trials and in the treatment of chronic illness. With this in mind, the team of researchers behind the Swallow-Signaling Pill envisioned a “tattletale pill” prototype made of two separate parts: the pill itself, equipped with a tiny microchip and a digestible antenna, and an electronic device that communicates with it and can be integrated into a watch or mobile phone. The patient’s device sends signals to a receiver kept by a doctor or family member, letting them know that the pill has been taken. The pill is powered by infinitesimal bursts of low-voltage electricity and requires no battery; the patient’s stomach acid breaks down the antenna, and the microchip is passed through the gastrointestinal tract.