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A Wirelessly Controlled Pharmacy Dispenses Drugs From Within Your Abdomen

• Rebecca Boyle
 

In the future, implantable computerized dispensaries will replace trips to the pharmacy or doctor’s office, automatically leaching drugs into the blood from medical devices embedded in our bodies. These small wireless chips promise to reduce pain and inconvenience, and they’ll ensure that patients get exactly the amount of drugs they need, all at the push of a button.

In a new study involving women with osteoporosis, a wirelessly controlled implantable microchip successfully delivered a daily drug regimen, working just as well, if not better, than a daily injection. It could be an elegant solution for countless people on long-term prescription medicines, researchers say. Patients won’t have to remember to take their medicine, and doctors will be able to adjust doses with a simple phone call or computer command.

Pharmacies-on-a-chip could someday dispense a whole suite of drugs, at pre-programmed doses and at specific times, said Robert Langer, the Institute Professor at the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT, who is a co-author on the study.

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