Smart phones, smart meters and now, smart pills. A California startup recently won the nod of Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis, which will pay $24 million for exclusive rights to Proteus Biomedical's drug-delivery technologies, according to an Economist report. Down the hatch and into the stomach the not-so-distant-future smart pill will travel, where stomach fluids will activate its tiny, embedded device, which will transmit wireless signals to doctors and caretakers who can rest assured that their patient has taken his or her medication. Other "intelligent" pills and vessels are expected to become commercially available within three to five years. While some describe the developments as "Orwellian" and "disruptive," others laud them as just what the doctor, and patient, ordered.
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