Feeds

Philips pops out the drug packing iPill

Take one of these computers with a glass of water

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

An "intelligent pill" with a microprocessor, battery, wireless radio, pump and a drug reservoir to release medication in a specific area in the body was announced yesterday by Dutch electronics firm Philips.

The multivitamin-sized iPill, to be swallowed with a sip of water, measures acidity or temperature with a sensor to determine its location, and can then release drugs where they are needed.

The pill will be introduced at the annual meeting of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) in Atlanta this month and Philips is already talking to drug makers about using it to treat colon cancer and bowel inflammation.

Of course, capsules containing miniature cameras are already on the market. In 2004, your author saw a pill-size gastro-cam developed by Olympus during a show in Tokyo. While travelling through the digestive tract, the pill made 2 shots per second and images were sent wirelessly to a video monitor.

However, it wasn't exactly easy to steer the pill through the intestine, even with with huge magnets, and it still hasn't replaced conventional endoscopes which require a tube to be inserted.

Earlier this year another cam pill, developed by the Japanese RF System Lab, has entered clinical trials in the US. This pill requires 50 milliwatts to run its camera and lights, so patients need to wear a vest which contains a coil that continuously transmits power.

Philips says camera pills presently lack the ability to release drugs.

The company says the iPill is ready for mass production. The pill could cost as much as $1000 when it will be introduced. Eventually, though, the price could come down to about $10. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
The next big thing in medical science: POO TRANSPLANTS
Your brother's gonna die, kid, unless we can give him your, well ...
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
Antarctic ice THICKER than first feared – penguin-bot boffins
Robo-sub scans freezing waters, rocks warming models
Your PHONE is slowly KILLING YOU
Doctors find new Digitillnesses - 'text neck' and 'telepressure'
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The hidden costs of self-signed SSL certificates
Exploring the true TCO for self-signed SSL certificates, including a side-by-side comparison of a self-signed architecture versus working with a third-party SSL vendor.