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Posted: 6:00 a.m. Thursday, July 11, 2013

Technology and medicine meet in iPills


Prescription pills downpage photo
Prescription pills downpage

We've entered the era where medicine is going into full sci-fi mode in the quest for better diagnostic and treatment tools.

The New York Times  reports HQ Inc.'s CorTemp pill is just the latest at the cross-section of technology and medicine. It has a built-in battery and wirelessly transmits real-time body temperature.

A couple of year ago, Phillips came out with an intelligent pill. The so-called "iPill" contained a microprocessor in it that could release medication at a specific spot in the GI tract. The goal was to eliminate the "chemo phenomenon," where you make a person's whole body sick just to target illness in one part of the body.

The iPill contains a wireless transmitter that senses acidity and body temperature to determine where to pinpoint the medication. Some of its expected uses will be for colon cancer treatment and GI tract disorders -- if Phillips can convince the pharmaceutical companies to buy into the technology.

The San Francisco Chronicle ran a simple explanation of the iPill a couple years ago. The real shocker so far is that the cost is $1,000 per pill. Once it's in mass production, however, that price would come down to about $10 per pill. Talk about the economy of scale!