The percentage decrease in Brazil’s birthrate in a year, the fastest drop in the country in nearly 30 years. There were 2.79 million births in 2016. Zika and the economic crisis are blamed for the drop.
Q What is the new digital pill?
A The digital pill approved Monday, called Abilify MyCite, combines two existing products: the former blockbuster psychiatric medication Abilify — long used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder — with a sensor tracking system first approved in 2012. The U.S. developers are Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. and Proteus Digital Health.
Q How does it work?
A The pill is embedded with a digital sensor that is activated by stomach fluids, sending a signal to a patch worn by the patient and notifying a digital smartphone app that the medication has been taken. Patients can track their dosage on their smartphone and allow their doctors, family or caregivers to access the information through a website. The pill has not yet been shown to actually improve patients’ medication compliance, a feature insurers are likely to insist on before paying for the pill. Additionally, patients must be willing to allow their doctors and caregivers to access the digital information.