A fost inventat microcipul care le spune
doctorilor daca ti-ai luat pastila
Ziua on line | 12 aprilie 2009| Nr. 4510
Microcipurile din pastile le-ar putea permite in curand doctorilor sa afle daca pacientii lor au luat medicamentele prescrise. Senzorii digerabili, de doar un milimetru, ii vor ajuta pe medici si chirurgi sa-si monitorizeze pacientii in afara spitalelor si a salilor de operatie. Noile medicamente le-ar putea fi de folos mai ales celor bolnavi psihic sau pacientilor varstnici care se bazeaza pe o schema medicamentoasa complicata si care se afla intr-un mare pericol daca uita sa ia o pastila sau nu o iau atunci cand trebuie, relateaza „Daily Mail” in editia electronica de duminica.
Pastila „inteligenta”, care ar putea fi folosita si de bolnavii cronici pentru a vedea daca medicamentele scumpe pe care le folosesc isi fac efectul scontat sau, dimpotriva, au efecte secundare potential periculoase, functioneaza printr-o incarcatura electrica inofensiva activata in momentul in care stomacul digera medicamentul. Aceasta informatie si altele, vizand de exemplu ritmul cardiac si obtinute cu ajutorul unor senzori aplicati pe stomacul sau spatele pacientului, sunt transmise ulterior pe telefonul mobil al acestuia si apoi pe internet cu ajutorul tehnologiei wireless. Doctorii si pacientii pot abtine astfel o imagine completa privind starea de sanatate si impactul medicamentelor. Microcipurile de silicon sunt invizibile pacientilor si pot fi introduse in toate medicamentele obisnuite in decursul procesului lor de productie. Doua companii farmaceutice importante investigheaza deja aceasta tehnologie, dezvoltata de compania americana Proteus Biomedical. Primele teste urmeaza sa fie efectuate in Marea Britanie in decurs de maximum 12 luni.
Microchip that tells the GP if you’ve taken your pills
Microchips in pills could soon allow doctors to find out whether a patient has taken their medication.
The digestible sensors, just 1mm wide, would mean GPs and surgeons could monitor patients outside the hospital or surgery.
Developers say the technology could be particularly useful for psychiatric or elderly patients who rely on a complicated regime of drugs – and are at risk if they miss a dose or take it at the wrong time.
It could also be used for the chronically ill, such as people with heart disease, to establish whether costly drugs are working or whether they are causing potentially dangerous side effects.
The sensors could even remind women to take the Pill if they forget.
The ‘intelligent’ medicine works by activating a harmless electric charge when drugs are digested by the stomach.
This charge is picked up by a sensing patch on the patients’ stomach or back, which records the time and date that the pill is digested. It also measures heart rate, motion and breathing patterns.
The information is transmitted to a patient’s mobile phone and then to the internet using wireless technology, to give a complete picture of their health and the impact of their drugs.
Doctors and carers can view this information on secure web pages or have the information sent to their mobile phones.
The silicon microchips are invisible to patients and can be added to any standard drug during the manufacturing process.
Two major drugs companies are investigating the technology, developed by US-based Proteus Biomedical. Trials are to begin in the UK within 12 months.
Professor Nick Peters, a cardiologist at Imperial College London, who is co-ordinating trials, said the technology was ‘transformative‘.
‘This is all about empowering patients and their families because it measures wellness, and people can actually be tracked getting better,’ he said.
‘Psychologically speaking, that’s hugely helpful for patients and enormously reassuring for carers.
‘Normally patients would have to be in hospital to get this level of feedback, so the hope is that it frees up beds and saves the NHS money.’
Proteus Biomedical prescribes ‘smart pill’
[o stire lansata inca din data de 2 mai 2008 pe Business Journal. Voi traduce doar anumite fragmente boldite, incadrand traducerea in paranteze drepte – dan.camen.]
Business Journal | Friday, May 2, 2008
Silicon Valley | San Jose Business Journal
Grandma forgot to take her prescriptions again. Dad got his confused, and Mom took too many.
Non-compliance to medication leads to 3.5 million hospital admissions in the United States annually and 11 percent of all admissions to the emergency room. In the elderly population, an estimated 40 percent of all admissions are due to medication problems.
To reduce that error rate, Proteus Biomedical Inc. has developed a chip-embedded pill that beams reports to doctors and family when a medicine is taken. The Redwood City company is also developing a way to track how the patient is responding to the medication and whether the dosage is appropriate.
The private, early-stage company is pioneering „intelligent medicine,” an emerging field that integrates electronics, sensors and wireless communications into medical devices and pharmaceuticals. Proteus aims to provide information tools that simplify and improve a person’s daily lifestyle, according to Chief Executive Officer Andrew Thompson.
The company has filed more than 250 patents to date, with three products in clinical trials. It plans to launch its first product in late 2009 or early 2010. Proteus has received $60 million in financing – $45 million in equity and $15 million in debt.
[compania planuieste sa-si lanseze primul produs la sfarsitul anului 2009 si inceputul lui 2010. Ea a primit finantare de 60 mil. dolari, dintre care 15 mil. sunt rambursabili]
With the company’s „smart pill,” an individual swallows a chip-embedded drug that is activated and transmits a signal to a receiver. The receiver is located inside the patient or on them – similar to a Band-Aid.
„The data we’ve developed inside you stays inside you unless you give permission to have it go outside of you,” Thompson said.
[Informatiile (din receptor) pe care noi le-am preluat dinlauntrul vostru raman in aparat, numai pana cand tu doresti scoaterea lor afara, a declarat Andrew Thompson, directorul executiv al companiei producatoare]
The information can then be sent to a family member’s or doctor’s mobile device or PC, letting them know how many pills a patient is taking, what the drugs are and when they are taken. The process also helps family members monitor the patient’s diligence in taking the prescribed medicine.
[acest produs trimite informatiile obtinute telefonului mobil sau calculatorului, ajutand astfel membrii familiei sa monitorizeze sarguinta pacientului in a urma tratamentul prescris]
„It enables that person to call up and say, „Mum, you forgot to take your pill today,” Thompson said.
While Thompson does not want to divulge the details of the products until they hit the market, he points out that the company is building smart medicine into already existing products, such as prescription drugs and medical devices. The current market for those products is about $2.5 billion annually, Thompson said, and there is significant opportunity to expand that market. Guido Neels, a private investor in Proteus, estimated a $5 billion to $20 billion market for the „smart pill” alone.
[Guido Neels, actionar la Proteus, a estimat un profit situat intre 5 mld. si 20 mld. de dolari pentru ‘pastila inteligenta’. Acesta a zis: „felul cum ne place sa gandim despre companie este ca aceasta pune ‘inteligenta’ in medicina”]
„The way we like to think about the company is that it puts intelligence in medicine,” Neels said. „It’s intelligence for the patients, the family and the health care provider.”
Proteus announced April 24 it has initiated a clinical study of its novel way – called cardiac electric tomography – to assess heart function in patients using a pacemaker equipped with a chip-embedded wire it has developed. This could help nearly 5 million Americans and about 22 million people worldwide who suffer from heart failure, according to the American Heart Association.
Cardiac resynchronization therapy, a treatment for selected patients with heart failure, can improve cardiac function by restoring the mechanical sequence of ventricular activation and contraction. The method is costly, can be unreliable and offers no way to measure how well the patient is doing, Thompson said.
Dr. Mark Hlatky, a professor of health research and policy and of cardiovascular medicine at Stanford University, said the therapy has generally been cost effective in appropriate patients because of benefits such as preventing later readmission. While it does improve the quality of life in some people, he said, not everyone seems to respond to it.
Dr. Leslie Saxon, chief of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Southern California, is involved with six of the 30 patients enrolled in the trials. Saxon said Proteus is evaluating a way to use electrical signals to understand how the heart is pumping mechanically in acute testing. If the promising method works, it would then be incorporated into the Proteus wire, which is embedded with computing.
„It enables us to very flexibly program how we stimulate the patient, but in addition, it enables us to directly measure, using the same (wire), the mechanical performance of the heart,” Thompson said.
„What we’re doing is creating machine readable data in real time within the existing procedure, so instantly the physician knows what’s going on, and that’s a beautiful thing,” he said. „And we’re doing it without any additional equipment, no new procedure, no changes in the workflow, no changes in the reimbursement. We’re taking what is today a dumb device and making it into an extremely intelligent device.”
While he wasn’t familiar with Proteus, Hlatky said if the device is proven to help more people respond to the therapy, it could be a good thing.
Saxon has been impressed not only with the Proteus founders’ philosophy for how „technology can liberate medicine,” but also their ability to move the ideas along and execute the products they dream up.
[Dr. Leslie Saxon a fost impresionat nu numai de filosofia fondatorilor companiei, cum ‘tehnologia poate elibera medicina’, dar si de abilitatea lor de a duce ideile mai departe si de a-si realiza produsele pe care le-au visat]
Much to prove
Thompson said Proteus still has to prove the power of its technology through its products, develop additional collaborations and work with the patient and the clinical community to show these systems are valuable. Thompson estimated the existing resynchronization therapy market to be as much as $12 million in the U.S. alone, and Proteus could partner with companies that specialize in cardiac rhythm management such as Boston Scientific Corp. and Medtronic Inc.
Thompson isn’t sure whether Proteus is likely to try an initial public offering, license some of its technology to another company or await a buyer. He says he’s more focused on building and financing the company and helping investors understand the potential revenue streams of intelligent medicine. The company’s investors include Adams Street Partners LLC, Asset Management Co., The Carlyle Group, Essex Woodlands Health Ventures, Fletcher Spaght Ventures LP, Kaiser Permanente Ventures and Spring Ridge Ventures.
Neels, who is also Essex’s managing director, said the company has a significant stake, 10 to 20 percent, in Proteus. He estimated the resynchronization therapy market to be $2 billion to $3 billion.
Thompson said there are companies that have pioneered radio-frequency identification as well as specific, sensor-based diagnostic applications such as CardioMEMS Inc. and St. Jude Medical Inc., which acquired a company called Savacor Inc. for its technology. However, Proteus is one of the first companies to have taken on this type of vision for intelligent medicine.