Children's Health tests digital pills to track med adherence


Children's Health in Dallas is testing technology to track how well patients stick to complex medication schedules in real time using sensors the size of a grain of sand embedded in pills.

The first patient enrolled, 6-year old Riley Kinman, underwent a kidney transplant last year. She takes a complicated daily regimen of vitamins, steroids, blood pressure, urinary tract and immunosuppressive drugs. Getting too far off schedule could leave her on dialysis and needing a new kidney.

From inside the patient’s stomach, the sensor communicates with a patch worn on the patient’s side and can relay information such as spikes or dips in blood pressure, heart rate, physical activity and sleep patterns, according to the Dallas Morning News.

New Whitepaper

CMS Doubles Down on CAHPS and Raises the Bar on Member Experience

A new CMS final rule will double the impact of CAHPS and member experience on a Medicare plan’s overall Star Rating. Learn more and discover how to exceed member expectations and improve Star Ratings in this new whitepaper.

Healthcare organizations have been testing an array of technologies including texting, smartphone apps, e-prescribing and EHR dashboards to address the problem of medication adherence, estimated to cost $289 billion in preventable healthcare visits and hospitalizations.

The patch transmits data via the cloud to a server at the hospital where her care is monitored.

Patients and caregivers can view the data being transmitted from this “digital medicine” on an iPad issued by the hospital. They and physicians can easily tell whether medications have not been taken or taken in the wrong dose or schedule.

The technology previously has been tested on adults with chronic conditions; this constitutes the first extensive test in pediatrics, according to the article.

Suggested Articles

Blues plans have reportedly agreed to a $2.7 billion antitrust settlement.

Premera Blue Cross will pay $6.9 million to HHS over a data breach six years ago that exposed 10 million people's health information.

Digital health for adults is a booming business, but innovation in the pediatrics has lagged. Children's Hospital Los Angeles wants to change this.