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Researchers at Caltech in the US have developed a technology that acts as a GPS for smart pills. The new technology allows doctors to send medicine to exactly the right place in the stomach and intestinal system, increasing effectiveness and reducing the risk of side effects.
Doctors and healthcare professionals can then access real-time data about the patient's medication, enabling them to identify problems in time and make adjustments to optimize treatment. In addition, the pill can be used to collect data on conditions in the digestive tract and take pictures of what it looks like inside.
So far, a large receiver is required for the signals from the pill, but the researchers hope to be able to build a small receiver that goes into a backpack. This would mean that patients can walk around with a kind of mobile x-ray and doctors can continuously monitor what is happening in the patient's stomach throughout the day.
Smart pills that the patient can swallow are nothing new in themselves, but in the past accuracy has only been within a few centimeters. The Caltech researchers' pills can be tracked with an accuracy of less than a millimeter.