The medical possibilities for intelligent, internet-enabled medical devices is huge, with one recent estimate expecting the global market to be worth US$163bn by 2020.
Proteus Discover, of US healthcare firm Proteus Digital Health. Developed in collaboration with Japan-based Otsuka Pharmaceuticals, Discover is a microscopic sensor contained within an ingestible pill. The sensor activates on contact with stomach acids and then starts relaying clinical health data to a replaceable patch worn on the patient’s torso. The technique is initially being used primarily for patients with cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, such as hypertension and Type 2 diabetes.The patch also registers the time that the medication was taken and a patient’s subsequent behavioural patterns (sleep, exercise, etc). The information is then loaded up wirelessly to an app on the patient’s smartphone and then to the Proteus Cloud.
Barriers To consider
Cybersecurity breaches— If hackers can infiltrate the medical records of sports stars such as British cyclist Bradley Wiggins and the US gymnast Simone Biles, what’s to say biometric information from your implantable might somehow find its way to your health insurance provider or to a tech company like Google (which is currently experimenting with a “smart” contact lens)?