Health IT Gets Pop Culture Cred

Are you still not convinced that Health IT is a fascinating, cutting-edge field that deserves your consideration as you think about your professional options?  Well, then allow me to share this detail.  A recent innovation in the Health IT world, the first ingestible biomedical sensor to receive clearance from the Food and Drug Administration, was featured on The Colbert Report earlier this month.  As authors to presidential candidates to activists have come to realize, the attention of Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert on their “fake news” programs actually leads to a lot of very real publicity in 2012.

The product, developed by Proteus Digital Health, is a small sensor placed inside a patient’s pills.  The sensor is activated upon reaction with stomach fluid, and messages are then transmitted to a patch worn on the skin and, from there, to a smartphone application.  This information, which includes other data about a patient’s physical position and activity level, can be shared quickly throughout his or her entire network of caregivers.  It is a digital way to monitor medication compliance and to keep one’s primary care physician and specialists in communication with one another about  adherence to, and success on, any pill that is given this sensor.

Now, it must be noted that Colbert’s focus on the sensor involved the expected amount of sarcasm and poking fun.  The point is, though, that his viewers may finish watching the segment and, for the first time, realize some developments in Health IT that they never before had considered.  Someone sitting in front of the TV screen who loves computers and technology will be left thinking about their own similar ideas long after the credits to the show stop rolling.

What is your initial reaction to the idea of a sensor being placed in your pills to monitor your management of medication?  Does this seem like a great way to ensure the safety of those patients who may be incapable of reliably caring for themselves?  Or, do you see some potential drawbacks?

About the author


Joe Lavelle

Joe Lavelle is the Co-Founder of intrepidNow. Prior to that Joe was an accomplished healthcare IT executive and career coach with a record of successfully meeting the business and technology challenges of diverse organizations including health plans, health delivery networks, health care companies, and several Fortune 500 companies.

Joe is also the author of Act As If It Were Impossible To Fail, available on Amazon.

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