New York clinic pilots Proteus for mental illness

By: Brian Dolan | May 25, 2010        

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Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, New York is working with Proteus Biomedical to pilot the “intelligent medicine” company’s edible sensor for certain mental illnesses, according to a report from Scientific American.

“We’re interested in determining patients’ sleep patterns,” John Kane, head of schizophrenia research at Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, N.Y. Kane. “For certain mental illnesses, changes in sleep patterns are an early sign that an illness is accelerating.” Proteus is funding the pilot.

Interestingly, the Scientific American article features commentary from a one-time detractor from the wireless health opportunity: Gartner analyst Wes Rishel.

Tracking the effect of these so-called smart pills on vital bodily functions will help doctors perfect their chemistry, says Gartner analyst Wes Rishel who studies technology for health care delivery organizations and hospitals. “People react differently to different medicines,” he adds. “If you can react in real-time to a body’s response to a medicine you can more quickly determine the correct dosage.”

Last year Rishel threw cold water on wireless health applications by pointing to the tepid uptake of RFID tracking for medical devices. MobiHealthNews pointed out that while RFID was a wireless application, its uptake has very little to do with wireless vital signs monitoring. At the time Rishel referred to some wireless health applications as “incremental advances.”

For more from the Scientific American article, (which features Corventis, too) read more here.