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Innovative medical technology is trying to solve the problem of getting people to take their medicine, but its cost and its unfamiliarity has blocked widespread use, the Washington Post reports.

Driving the news: The first digital therapy to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration, Abilify MyCite, isn't on the market because of providers' and insurers' reservations about the product.

  • Abilify is an old drug used to treat schizophrenia and other mental illnesses. The new product is the same pill but with an electronic tracking component added, which transmits a signal when it comes into contact with stomach acid.
  • Eventually, doctors can view the data collected to monitor whether a patient is taking his or her medicine — serious information for schizophrenia patients.
  • Abilify MyCite costs $1,650 a month.

The big picture: The collision of drugs and medical devices with Silicon Valley has resulted in apps to help treat numerous health care conditions, and there are studies underway for more digital pills to treat cancer and other diseases.

  • But the cost-effectiveness of these new technologies hasn't yet been proven, and until if and when it is, that's a huge barrier to uptake.
  • "I think that these technologies have a lot of potential benefits, but it's going to be a question of evidence — that they can demonstrate value to patients and payers," former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told the Post.

Go deeper: A blind spot for medical AI

Go deeper

Dave Lawler, author of World
2 hours ago - World

Venezuela's predictable elections herald an uncertain future

The watchful eyes of Hugo Chávez on an election poster in Caracas. Photo: Cristian Hernandez/AFP via Getty

Venezuelans will go to the polls on Sunday, Nicolás Maduro will complete his takeover of the last opposition-held body, and much of the world will refuse to recognize the results.

The big picture: The U.S. and dozens of other countries have backed an opposition boycott of the National Assembly elections on the grounds that — given Maduro's tactics (like tying jobs and welfare benefits to voting), track record, and control of the National Electoral Council — they will be neither free nor fair.

Biden plans to ask public to wear masks for first 100 days in office

Joe Biden. Photo: Mark Makela/Gettu Images

President-elect Joe Biden told CNN on Thursday that he plans to ask the American public to wear face masks for the first 100 days of his presidency.

The big picture: Biden also stated he has asked NIAID director Anthony Fauci to stay on in his current role, serve as a chief medical adviser and be part of his COVID-19 response team when he takes office early next year.