Big Brother in Your Pills

Prescription bottle with pillsYesterday in Facebook, Diabetes Hand Foundation posted on their page a link to an article in Forbes about an ingestible sensor made by Proteus Digital Health and approved by the FDA.  They are going to put it into pills so your doctor can monitor whether or not you take your medicine.  One of the pills mentioned in the Forbes article was Metforim used by a lot of Type 2s.  Let’s just say I am extremely grateful that they can’t put that in insulin!  Like other things approved by the FDA, they are claiming that it is safe.  I think most of us have been around the block long enough to know other drugs that they said were safe have later been pulled off the market.

This is not something that you will be swallowing a pill and without your permission, your doctor will know whether or not you are taking it.  You have to wear a patch and the sensor in the pill will transmit a signal to the patch.  The patch sends a signal to a mobile phone for your doctor.

An article in the American Journal of Medical Care, talks about some of the technical aspects and the study that was done.  I truly hope that the study discussed in this article was not the only one done.  There were 111 participants and 45 of those had an adverse event.  Yup, no problems!  They claim the biggest problem was with the patch.  I would like to see a list of every adverse event reported with it – I did search but was not able to come up with a list.  I personally don’t want to be swallowing digital crap for 20 years to find out what the true side effects are.

Obviously, if you don’t want to be monitored, you “may” have a chance to refuse – people who have a caretaker that makes decisions won’t have choices.  My concern is that is this device going in every single pill that is made whether or not you want to participate in the monitoring?

Several articles I read stated that the ingestible sensor has copper in.  I have had some weird allergies this last year and I really don’t want to be putting copper in my body even though they claim not too many people are allergic to copper.  I heard that about the titanium clip that that was put in me after a biopsy – I have had nothing but problems with that but try getting someone to yank it out!  I have read other people say that they were also told no one has problems with titanium, but there certainly are a lot of people complaining about the problems.

An article on the Proteus Digital Health website states that the sensor is made up of silicon – silicon has latex in.  I have a latex allergy and so do a lot of other people.  Now we have to worry about latex showing up in our pills.

That same article states that there are “two conductive materials, one on either side.”  I an guessing that is where the copper comes in that I read about.

As someone with gastroparesis, things don’t “exit” my body as fast as someone with a normal stomach.  So that means the latex that I am allergic to might be sitting in my stomach for a week.  That should be real fun!  Somehow I doubt that they studied the effects of this garbage hanging around in someone’s stomach for a week or more.

Can you tell I have some serious problems with this!

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4 thoughts on “Big Brother in Your Pills

  1. Wow! I’m with Trisha on what her thoughts are with this latest “big brother is watching you” pill. I sure hope that Canada doesn’t approve it. Like my hubby says – will the doctors have time to monitor all of the info coming in on their patients – I sure know mine won’t (he has ALOT of Type 2 patients). He doesn’t even have any interest in monitoring me – let alone my showing him print outs of my diabetes control. Great post Kelly!

    • I think your hubby is right Anna, they won’t have time to monitor all that stuff. They don’t have time now so I don’t think adding more things to their list will work.

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