The FDA just approved a pill with an embedded, ingestible sensor. The sensor, like those IoT sensors on machinery, provides valuable insight. Combined, patients and physicians gain tremendous insight to one dimension of compliance and receive treatment simultaneously. 

Abilify MyCite is intended for patients with schizophrenia, bipolar I disorder, or as a supplement for treating adult depression. This patient population, in general, is susceptible to non-compliance behaviors. As a result, effective treatment can be derailed. By giving patients and their care givers valuable insight regarding treatment compliance, better treatment and reinforcing behaviors can potentially be provided more consistently. However, the real value in this new data source may be found in application beyond this population.

According to an article in the Psychiatric Times, "Treatment Compliance in Patients with Co-Occuring Mental Illness and Substance Abuse," there is a dearth of data on  treatment compliance - starting with using mental health services through treatment plan adherence. Through the use of ingestible sensors, we open up a world of possibilities surrounding medication usage, providing compliance behavioral triggers, and/or tracking medication batches through a supply chain. Further, it's clear that this sensor type - a simple indicator as to whether the medicine was ingested - will give rise to more sophisticated data sources. As such, valid questions regarding data use should be raised.

What's needed now is a compelling data management and analysis protocol to ensure effective and secure use. Hitachi has been developing, using, and benefiting from IoT technologies for decades. We also have extensive experience in managing massive volumes of healthcare data. As a result, we had to develop sophisticated, smart healthcare solutions. These solutions included analytic models that provide direct patient and provider benefits, while taking care to limit exposing that data inappropriately. The real challenge for the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare industries is how to apply that same success to improving patient outcome.