Antenna Pill

Published: March 31 2010


Remembering whether or not you took your medication could soon be a thing of the past; your medicine itself will let you know. University of Florida researchers have developed an electronic pill that works a lot like a bar code that’s scanned at a grocery story.

Rizwan Bashirullah/ UF electrical engineer: “Once the patient ingests the pill it basically verifies the presence of the pill by sending some electrical signals into the body. That essentially what it does is it activates the tag or the device inside and the tag basically replies with a message saying that I’m in the digestive track.”

An external reader such as a watch or cell phone can then be used to see if the pill has entered the body. Researchers hope that by further developing the pill’s technology they can benefit the healthcare industry by significantly improving medication compliance in patients.

Rizwan Bashirullah/ UF electrical engineer: “Because we are using electronics, and electronics, as you know, is a very low cost technology, the impact could be tremendous. If you were to come out with a very low cost smart and intelligent solution to solve this problem we could have a tremendous impact. ”

UF researchers are currently waiting to begin human trials, but have been able to successfully test the pill in simulated human digestive systems, and for researchers that’s a pill that’s not hard to swallow.