Smart pills monitor your vitals

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New electronic pills look like and are ingested just like drug capsules. Once swallowed, however, they allow for continuous core temperature monitoring.

BodyCap, a company specialized in miniaturized wireless monitoring devices for e-health applications, introduced a miniaturised electronic pill that communicates wirelessly. The e-Celsius device, a class IIb medical device, allows continuous measurement of the patient’s central temperature by gastrointestinal tract. The disposable electronic capsule is coated in a biocompatible medical grade plastic. When swallowed by the patient it follows the intestinal transit.

Smart pill e-Celsius (Image: Bodycap)The smart pills, when provided, is in standby mode. An activation box enables wake-up and association with monitor for data collection in real time mode or by recovery from an internal memory with no loss of data. Every 30 seconds, the pill wirelessly transmits (ISM Band 433MHz-434MHz) internal temperature measurements to the monitor. This shows alerts when the measurement is outside the range set by the healthcare professional. The pill leaves the body naturally after one to three days.

A true alternative method

The central temperature of the patient is one of the variable measures most regularly used during diagnosis or therapeutic follow-up in hospitals. It can detect an infectious peak, monitor the course of a fever or prevent the risk of hypothermia.

The performance and reliability of the e-Celsius device have been validated in clinical trials. The studies demonstrate the heat homogeneity of the gastrointestinal tract and the equivalence with data from rectal and/or esophageal probes, currently considered to be gold standards within hospital settings. The tests have also shown that e-Celsius has a positive impact on patient and medical personnel wellbeing.

The e-Celsius device is a true alternative method to the current use of rectal or eosophageal probes, which are invasive, uncomfortable, generate stress and limit the patient’s mobility. With the internal memory embedded in each capsule, e-Celsius ensures the monitoring of the patient’s temperature kinetics in real time or deferred time, whatever the measurement conditions.

Big market for smart pills

The market for global ingestible smart pills should reach 1,475 millions US-Dollar revenues by 2024-end. e-Celsius integrates into a medical environment where reducing healthcare costs is a major issue. More than 230 million major surgeries are conducted around the world each year. The development of ambulatory surgery to replace conventional surgery is a growing trend worldwide.

Each pill will cost between 42 and 63 US-Dollar and comes with an activation box that’s used to engage the e-Celsius and partner it with a particular monitor. The capsules include 4 batteries (zinc–argent oxide).

The e-Celsius Performance device is already widely used in the field of elite sports and has been monitoring athletes since October 2015. It has been used during major events such as the Rio 2016 Olympics and the New York Marathon.

Smart pills (Image: BodyCap).

Electronic pill for core body temperature monitoring. (Image: BodyCap).