Five

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.

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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.

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