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Japan's Otsuka to roll out first 'digital pill' in US next spring

Innovative medicine is smart enough to tell you when you forget to take it

Abilify tablets containing sensors developed by Otsuka Pharmaceutical

TOKYO -- Japan's Otsuka Pharmaceutical plans to roll out the world's first commercial "digital pill" in the U.S. as early as next spring. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration in November green-lighted the drugmaker to produce and sell the product, Abilify MyCite.

The achievement has combined Otsuka's antipsychotic medication Abilify, also known as Aripiprazole, and the micro-sensor technology of Proteus Digital Health, a California-based medical startup. The two went into partnership in 2012 to jointly develop a version of Abilify -- capable of digitally monitoring whether patients suffering chronic, serious mental illnesses take their Abilify pills as properly and regularly as prescribed.

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