An "intelligent pill" that contains a microprocessor, battery, wireless radio, pump and a drug reservoir to release medication in a specific area in the body, has been developed.
Philips, one of the world's biggest hospital equipment makers, said that the "iPill" capsule, measures acidity with a sensor to determine its location in the gut, and can then release drugs where they are needed.
Delivering drugs to treat digestive tract disorders such as Crohn's disease directly to the location of the disease means that doses can be lower, reducing side effects, Philips said.
While capsules containing miniature cameras are already used as diagnostic tools, those lack the ability to deliver drugs, Philips said.
The "iPill" can also measure the local temperature and report it wirelessly to an external receiver.
The iPill is a prototype, but suitable for serial manufacturing, Philips said. – (Reuters Health)