AMSTERDAM Dutch group Philips has developed an "intelligent pill" that contains a microprocessor, battery, wireless radio, pump and a drug reservoir to release medication in a specific area in the body.
Philips, one of the world's biggest hospital equipment makers, said Tuesday that the "iPill" capsule, measures acidity with a sensor to determine its location in the gut, and can then release drugs where they are needed.
Delivering drugs to treat digestive tract disorders such as Crohn's disease directly to the location of the disease means doses can be lower, reducing side effects, Philips said.
While capsules containing miniature cameras are already used as diagnostic tools, those lack the ability to deliver drugs, Philips said.
The "iPill" can also measure the local temperature and report it wirelessly to an external receiver.
The company plans to present the "iPill" at the annual meeting of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) in Atlanta this month.
The iPill is a prototype but suitable for serial manufacturing, Philips said.
(Reporting by Niclas Mika; Editing by Greg Mahlich)