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Digital Pill Targets Mental Health Conditions

Dr. Susan Turner

As a psychiatrist in New York City, Dr. Susan Turner treats patients with a variety of mental health conditions. Dr. Susan Turner creates individualized treatment plans for her patients, some requiring prescribed medications.

For individuals with mental health conditions, neglecting or forgetting to take medication can lead directly to a resurgence in symptoms. Now, a new digital pill may offer some support by helping physicians track medications taken by patients.

The pill, known as Abilify MyCite, adds a sensor to a compound that treats schizophrenia as well as the manic and mixed episodes of bipolar I disorder. When ingested, the pill's sensor delivers a message to a wearable patch, which sends a message to a mobile application. With patients' consent, caregivers and physicians can view the same information online.

Developers of the digital pill note that they take privacy implications very seriously. Kabir Nath, CEO of Otsuka Pharmaceutical in North America, urges doctors and patients to discuss the technique, stating that it will be appropriate for some, but not all, patients with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or other mental health conditions.

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