A Digital Pill a Day May Keep the Doctor Away

Wireless monitoring aims to cut visits and billions in health costs
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Aug 4, 2009 11:10 AM CDT
Intel is working on wireless health technology.   (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – As Congress debates ways to save on health care, Silicon Valley has an idea of its own: cutting costs through wireless technology, the Wall Street Journal reports. One startup has built a tiny, edible chip that attaches to pills and keeps track of whether patients are taking their medication. Remote monitoring, one study claims, could save billions yearly on a range of diseases.

With cell phones widespread, some of the infrastructure to send medical data wirelessly already exists. But “precious few” studies back up the claim of massive savings, says one analyst. Plus, health providers may not take advantage of such technologies if insurers won’t pay for them—and may be loathe to promote technology that keeps patients out of the doctor’s office.