FDA Approves Indigestible Medical Sensor You Swallow Like a Pill

The FDA has issued approval for an interesting medical gadget that is designed to be swallowed. The digestible sensor is designed to report back to doctors on a patient’s adherence to medications, as well as to share their vital signs. The device is called the Ingestion Event Marker system and uses what appears to be a pill with a sand grain sized transmitter embedded inside.

The product comes from a company called Proteus Digital Health and the information the sensor gathers is collected on an iPhone app. The sensor was approved for use in Europe in 2011. The sensor itself is embedded inside of a pill or other consumable item and gathers power from stomach fluid.


The sensor sends signals to a patch worn on the user’s stomach that then sends information out to a smartphone application. Information the sensor gathers includes heart rate, body position, and activity. Once the data is received by the smartphone application it can also optionally be sent automatically to a physician. The sensor eventually makes its way out of the body and into the toilet.

[via CBS News]