California hospital using ingestible sensors to track med use

January 26, 2016

Barton Health recently began using digital sensors compounded in medications to provide insights about medication use for patients dealing with uncontrolled and co-morbid hypertension.

Barton Health recently began using digital sensors compounded in medications to provide insights about medication use for patients dealing with uncontrolled and co-morbid hypertension. 

Barton is the first U.S. health system to use Proteus Discover sensors, which are produced by California-based Proteus Digital Health. Barton is based in Lake Tahoe, California.

The sensors will initially be used for patients with hypertension. However, the technology may eventually be also used for patients dealing with chronic diseases such as diabetes.

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“Patients struggle with medication adherence for various reasons. When a non-adherent patient is not seeing results and the physician believes a patient is taking a medication, this may lead to unnecessary changes in treatment which can be costly for the patient and the health system.” Dr. Clint Purvance, chief executive officer of Barton Health, stated. “This new product offering provides a data-driven communication channel between the medical provider and the patient that empowers the patient to take the appropriate dose of medication and better understand the importance of daily activity levels and other lifestyle changes.”

Proteus Discover uses ingestible sensors that are FDA cleared. The sensors are a co-encapsulated by a pharmacy compounder with a patient’s medication. The size of a grain of sand, the sensor is activated once it reaches the patient’s stomach.

The sensor then communicates with a patch worn by the patient. The patch records information such as time of ingestion, heart rate, activity, and rest. The recorded information is relayed to the patient through a mobile app on devices such as smartphones or iPads.

 

The information can then be shared with the patient’s healthcare team via a web-based dashboard, and used to help make decisions about the patient’s medication use and dosages.

“Patients are seeking easier ways to engage in their own care; healthcare providers are looking to more effectively manage chronic conditions,” said Andrew Thompson, CEO of Proteus Digital Health. “Barton is among a group of pioneering health systems addressing these opportunities head on by adding digital health solutions that extend their physical footprint, laying the groundwork for a durable population health strategy.”