In the News: New Pill That ‘Talks’ to Your Smartphone Approved by FDA, Watching Too Much TV Negates the Effects of Regular Exercise, Women Less Likely to Get CPR From Bystanders

A new pill that ‘talks’ to your smartphone has been approved by FDA. The Food and Drug Administration, in a groundbreaking decision, approved a drug with a digital ingestion tracking system, which senses when a pill is swallowed and sends the data to a smartphone. The new pill, called Abilify MyCite, contains an ingestible sensor that can help patients (and their doctors and caregivers) keep track of whether they are taking their medication as directed. Abilify MyCite is approved for the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, and as an add-on treatment for depression in adults. People who meet the criteria for Abilify MyCite can decide which members of their care team have access to information about when they’ve taken the medication, how much has been ingested, and self-reported mood levels. Psychiatric diseases are not the only illnesses that may benefit from this new type of drug; this innovative way to track medications could help manage a variety of chronic illnesses. However, the rise of digital drugs also raises questions about patient confidentiality and coercion. Want to learn about other smartphone health uses? Watch this clip about a breathalyzer app. (T)

Watching too much TV negates the effects of regular exercise. The new study presented this week at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions in Anaheim, California investigated the connection between television viewing and blood clots in the legs, arms, pelvis, and lungs. Researchers examined data from more than 15,000 middle-aged people who answered questions about their TV habits over 20 years. During that time, doctors diagnosed 691 blood clots in the group. People who said they watched TV “very often” were 71% more likely to have developed a blood clot, compared to those who “never or seldom” watched. Among those who did the recommended 150 minutes of weekly physical activity, those who watched TV very often were still 80% more likely to have had a blood clot than those who rarely or never watched TV. The study serves as a reminder that even physically fit people should avoid sitting in one position for too long. Learn more about blood clots here. (T)

Women less likely to get CPR from bystanders. A study from the University of Pennsylvania discussed this week at an American Heart Association conference in Anaheim showed that women are less likely than men to get CPR from a bystander and more likely to die. Only 39 percent of women suffering cardiac arrest in a public place were given CPR versus 45 percent of men, and men were 23 percent more likely to survive. The study reviewed close to 20,000 cases around the country and is the first to examine gender differences in receiving heart help from the public versus professional responders. Researchers think that rescuers may worry about removing a woman’s clothing to get better access to her chest or worry about touching their breasts to do CPR. The findings also suggest that CPR training may need to be improved, as practice mannequins are usually male torsos. (ABC)