The “Smart Pill” will be Produced in the UK
Proteus Digital Health, a privately held biotech company from the United States, has decided to set up shop in the United Kingdom. The company is in the process of making its "smart pill" product, which is an edible tablet that contains embedded microchips. The microchips work by monitoring patients' medication use. Proteus, which is working with many drug-manufacturing companies including Novartis and Otsuka, revealed its plans in hiring around 200 staff members for its first ever international manufacturing location.
Proteus' smart pill technology has already been approved in Europe and in the U.S. The pill is made with a sensor that is roughly the size of a grain of sand. The sensor contains no battery or antenna, and becomes activated by the natural juices present in the stomach. The sensor picks up information in real time, which is then sent to a small skin patch. The patch works by sending the information via Bluetooth to a device, such as a tablet or a smartphone.
The information that the sensor picks up informs doctors whether or not their patients are taking their medications properly. The device can also pick up other medical information, such as heart rate. Even though the smart pill tracks people's medicine intake, many teams from Britain's National Health Service aim to study the benefits of using the smart pill in other fields, such as treating high blood pressure.
According to Donald Cowling, the managing director at the company, Proteus chose Britain because the country offers high-tech manufacturing sites, tax breaks, and expertise in testing these types of products. So far, Britain's Prime Minister, David Cameron has welcomed the company. According to the Telegraph, the Primer Minister stated that the company's decision is "proof that our work to attract high-tech business to the UK is providing real benefits for people at home - all part of our long term economic plan."