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The $1000 Philips iPill Is the Future of Ingestible Target Treatment

 - Jan 22, 2009
References: technologyreview & iconoculture
It may sound like a joint venture between Spielberg and Apple in healthcare, but it is Philips Research that plans to make the electronic pill a reality. In its high-tech capsule, the vitamin-sized iPill boasts a microprocessor, power supply, drug reservoir with pump to deliver the medication, and a wireless transmitter to maintain contact with external medical equipment.

The "intelligent pill" is swallowed no differently than with a glass of water, but is able to measure temperature and acidity, and to accurately determine its position in the digestive tract in order to release the medicine precisely when and where it is needed. Advantages include reduced dosage and side effects, and target treatments evaluated involve gastrointestinal disorders and cancer.

But do not rush off to pharmacies just yet; first of all, the mighty iPill is still a prototype, although it is reportedly ready for mass production and testing from Philips will begin pronto; secondly, its sky-high price of $1000 per pill is not too encouraging – so until it comes down to a more accessible, say, $10 per pill, the majority will probably be settling for the less-brainy ordinary capsules.