Big Pharma turns Big Brother

It’s beginning to look a lot like 1984 out there–and I don’t mean punk rock hair and body piercings. You see, it appears Big Brother isn’t just a reality TV show anymore.  And if you think New York City’s ban on sodas larger than 16 ounces is a direct violation of people’s right to be obese–oops, I mean their civil rights–then here’s something that’s sure to make your head spin…

Our “friends” at the FDA have approved a medical sensor made entirely of ingredients found in food and activated on ingestion.

What are they trying to sense? My disgust at such a thing? If so, they succeeded.

The company that makes the device is calling this a “breakthrough” that “may prove to be the new standard for influencing medication adherence and significantly aid chronic disease management.”

But let me tell you the truth about this “breakthrough” before some doctor is shoving it down your throat.

The sensor is tiny–only about the size of a grain of sand. And it can be integrated into any ingestible object (such as a pharmaceutical drug). The sensor then sends data to a disposable patch that you wear on your body.  In addition to recording information from the sensor, the patch records heart rate, temperature, activity, and rest patterns.

Then all of this data gets sent to a mobile device, like a smartphone. And supposedly, the information is controlled by the patient. But given that the sensor can be used to detect the exact time medication is taken, as well as the unique identity of the medication, is there really any doubt that the drug companies will be privy to these sensor readings as well?

I find the whole business horrifying. The FDA already allows pharmaceutical companies to track what we prescribe. But apparently, that info isn’t good enough, so they created this little device. Which, let’s face it, is really just another way for the pharmaceutical companies to know if you’re taking your medications like a “good” patient.

Does anyone other than me find that wrong, at best–and more like borderline illegal?

All I can say is this may be the very first thing that I don’t want an “app” for.