Digital opioids help doctors track prescription painkiller use

The latest weapon in the fight against opioid addiction may be sensors in prescription opioids that alert physicians whenever their patients pop a pill. These digital pills aren’t on the market yet, but a small test run shows that they can help doctors monitor how patients use prescription painkillers at home.

By prescribing opioids equipped with radio transmitters to patients treated for broken bones, researchers tracked patients’ pill use in real time. The research team, led by Peter Chai at Harvard Medical School’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, found that most of the patients started spacing out their doses after a few days, and stopped before their pills ran out, according…

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