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Proteus: Digital medicines set to transform healthcare

Tells PM Society event that pharma and health systems have reached a pivot point
Proteus Ingestible

New sensor-enabled medicines could transform healthcare for both patients and health providers across the world.

That's according to leading 'digital pill' firm Proteus Digital Health, whose head of customer partnering was speaking at the PM Society's Digital Health Works II event yesterday.

“We are at a cusp, a pivot point, not just for the pharmaceutical industries, but also the way organisations like the NHS think about the way they deliver care as well,” Proteus' Barnaby Poulton told the Digital Health Works II audience in London.

He added: “It is not sustainable to keep going the way we are.”

Proteus' new sensor pills are able to create unique collaborations between patients and doctors as they provide objective insight into numerous factors, primarily how patients actually take their medications.

The sensor itself is composed of small amounts of copper, silicon, and magnesium - the amount you might find in oily fish or a banana. Upon ingesting the pill, a signal is picked up by a plaster worn by the patients which timestamps when the medication was taken before the sensor dissolves. 

The patch worn by the patient is also able to record patient's blood pressure, heart rate as well as their activity levels including step count.

Earlier this month the company marked a key milestone when US regulator the FDA accepted its joint new drug application with Tokyo-based Otsuka Pharmaceuticals.

The companies submitted for approval a sensor-enabled version of Otsuka's Abilify (aripriprazole), a treatment for patients with schizophrenia, bi-polar and other mental health disorders.

Poulton said: “The new digital medication takes what takes place inside a clinical trial, which is a very controlled environment, and translates those results into the real world.

“End products however must provide outstanding usability as well as value to the patient, clinician and payer meaning we have been forced to make some tough investment decisions.”

It is estimated that around 50% of medications in the UK are not taken as prescribed and therefore clinical teams are burdened with extra work involving extra testing and referrals.

In the UK it is thought unused prescription medications cost the NHS around £300m and medication adherence problems, while in the US the problem is responsible for up to $300bn in avoidable healthcare costs.

Article by
Nikhil Patel

23rd September 2015

From: Research

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