The pharmaceutical industry faces many daunting challenges. These include the substantial investment necessary to develop and test medications – estimated to be around a billion US dollars for each new product. However, an innovation from Medimetrics, a Philips-associated company, could change this. Winner of Accenture’s 2014 European Innovation Award, IntelliCap is an electronically controlled capsule that automatically releases the correct dose of medication into the body. The product administers the drug directly in the section of the gastrointestinal tract where it is most effective. The smart pill also transmits health-related data wirelessly to a device located close to the body, which then sends this information to a PC, making it available for cloud-based analysis or other downstream processes.
Approximately 92 m wearable health and fitness devices will be manufactured globally in 2015, according to latest estimates.
The IntelliCap capsule consists of two sections: one containing the medication and the other the electronics – including sensors, a microcontroller, a wireless transmitter, and a pump. This latter component is based on the stepper motor principle, and delivers 0.001 milliliters of active ingredients at the required time intervals. While the pill travels through the digestive tract, sensors measure temperature and pH values to be forwarded to the PC. This data is used to establish the optimal position to release the medication. This technological innovation from Medimetrics can help pharmaceutical companies efficiently establish what precise dosage is required for effective treatment when researching and developing new products.