November 11, 2008

Philips Invents ‘Intelligent Pill’

An "intelligent pill" that contains a microprocessor, battery, wireless radio, pump and a drug reservoir to release medication in a specific area in the body has been developed by Dutch group Philips.

Tuesday, Philips said that the "iPill" capsule measures acidity with a sensor to determine its location in the gut, and can then release drugs where they are needed.

Digestive tract disorders such as Crohn's disease, can be treated by delivering drugs directly to the location of the disease.  This means that doses can be lower, reducing side effects.

Philips said that although there already are capsules containing miniature cameras as diagnostic tools, they lack the ability to deliver drugs.

The "iPill" also measures the local temperature and reports it wirelessly to an external receiver.

The company is expected to present the new technology at the annual meeting of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) in Atlanta this month.

Philips said that the iPill is a prototype but suitable for serial manufacturing.


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