Drug delivery company Chrono Therapeutics has unveiled a wristwatch-like device for the non-invasive automatic administration of drugs based on the amount and time instructed, thus improving patience compliance.
ChronoDose is programmed like an alarm clock and worn like a watch to accurately deliver predefined-sized doses to coincide with peak disease symptoms.
This is important because hormones, neurotransmitters and other intra-body compounds are released in different amounts at different times of the day pursuant to daily patterns.
Because certain disease symptoms follow a daily pattern, with peak symptoms at certain times of the day, drug effects can be optimised when administered in a defined, usually varying dosage at predefined times.
Therefore, by precisely timing the administration of drugs so that they reach peak levels when symptoms are likely to be at their worst, drug administration efficacy is greatly improved.
Crucially, apart from allowing administration during sleep hours, it greatly increases the chances of patients taking their drugs when and at the level they are supposed to.
According to the company, over 20 per cent of hospital admissions annually result from patient non-compliance, costing the healthcare industry over $100bn (€84.3bn) per year.
The 'smart' transdermal drug delivery device may be worn for seven days without recharging power or replacing active.
It administers higher doses automatically when disease symptoms statistically peak and less when symptoms are lighter.
Initial applications target conditions as diverse as depression, urinary incontinence and migraines.
Guy DiPierro, president of Chrono Therapeutics, told In-Pharmatechnologist.com initial difficulties of turning off the miniaturised pump which releases the drug have been overcome in the latest prototype.
"We plan to use the device ourselves for two over-the-counter generic drugs, clinical trials on humans are beginning in May and we estimate we are 12 to 18 months away from commercialisation," he said, without revealing the indications of the drugs.
"Two big pharma companies have approached us with their drugs for depression and cardiovascular disease and they will be licensing them with ChronoDose."
The unit costs Chrono Therapeutics $20 to make though DiPierro stressed this number will go down when production is expanded.
ChronoDose is composed of the company's patent pending micro-modulated dispensing device, microprocessor, drug reservoir, power source, LCD and programming buttons, using its patent-pending AccuFuse technology.
The device has great potential for patient groups where compliance is an issue such as the elderly, hospitalized, mentally ill, inmates, military or anyone with chronic diseases.