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.
What is the new digital pill?
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.
How does it work?
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.