Medical POLICE STATE: FDA approves “Big Brother” digital sensor that tracks your compliance with psychiatric medications
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has officially granted its approval for a newfangled tracking device that pharmaceutical companies can now legally manufacture into drug pills in order to monitor whether or not patients are taking all of their prescriptions.
The technology is being specifically touted as a solution to the problem of psychiatric patients who forget to take their medicines, which could result in them committing violent acts toward themselves or others. But the privacy implications of adding tiny microchips to medications that people take every day are a major concern, even as the FDA proceeds with fast-tracking their use in pharmaceuticals.
Branded under the name of “MyCite,” these chips are already being used in Abilify aripiprazole tablets for schizophrenia. Those who suffer chronic manic episodes are being instructed to wear special patches on their arms that communicate with the chips as they make their way through patients’ bodies. Information is then transmitted via the patches to the patients’ smartphones, which can be monitored by doctors or pharmacists.
“The Abilify MyCite features a sensor the size of a grain of sand made of silicon, copper, and magnesium,” explains a report on the technology by The Verge.
“An electrical signal is activated when the sensor comes into contact with stomach acid – the sensor then passes through the body naturally. A patch the patient wears on their left rib cage receives the signal several minutes after the pill is ingested. The patch then sends data like the time the pill was taken and the dosage to a smartphone app over Bluetooth.”