An ingestible sensor for measuring medication adherence

IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2015 Jan;62(1):99-109. doi: 10.1109/TBME.2014.2341272.


In this paper, we describe the design and performance of the first integrated-circuit microsensor developed for daily ingestion by patients. The ingestible sensor is a device that allows patients, families, and physicians to measure medication ingestion and adherence patterns in real time, relate pharmaceutical compliance to important physiologic metrics, and take appropriate action in response to a patient's adherence pattern and specific health metrics. The design and theory of operation of the device are presented, along with key in-vitro and in-vivo performance results. The chemical, toxicological, mechanical, and electrical safety tests performed to establish the device's safety profile are described in detail. Finally, aggregate results from multiple clinical trials involving 412 patients and 5656 days of system usage are presented to demonstrate the device's reliability and performance as part of an overall digital health feedback system.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Conductometry / instrumentation
  • Dogs
  • Drug Monitoring
  • Eating
  • Equipment Design
  • Equipment Failure Analysis
  • Gastrointestinal Contents / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Medication Adherence*
  • Monitoring, Ambulatory / instrumentation*
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / administration & dosage
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / analysis
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / chemistry
  • Tablets, Enteric-Coated / analysis*
  • Tablets, Enteric-Coated / chemistry*
  • Transducers
  • Wireless Technology / instrumentation*


  • Pharmaceutical Preparations
  • Tablets, Enteric-Coated