Proteus, Oracle launch integrated software, ingestible sensors for clinical trials

By Jonah Comstock
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Proteus Digital HealthIngestible sensor company Proteus Digital Health and computer giant Oracle have integrated Proteus's digital health feedback system, which includes an ingestible pill sensor, a wearable patch, and a software system, with Oracle's InForm software for data collection. Clinical trial researchers using Oracle's software will now be able to track patients' medication adherence with Proteus's technology.

"Oracle Health Sciences InForm Medication Adherence Insights Cloud Service helps health sciences organizations effectively address two long-standing and complex challenges: measuring participant adherence to drug protocols and identifying the optimum dosing regimen for recommended use," Steve Rosenberg, senior vice president and general manager of Oracle Health Sciences, said in a statement. "This groundbreaking solution -- the direct result of a collaboration between Oracle and Proteus Digital Health -- is a powerful example of how we can rapidly combine our industry-leading clinical trial data capture and management solutions with emerging technologies, such as digital pills, to help health sciences organizations transform the drug development and approval process." 

Oracle and Proteus's partnership has been on the horizon since May 2013, when Oracle led a $45 million funding raise for Proteus and announced that the two would work together to help investigators in clinical trials to better understand and measure medication ingestion, dose timing, and associated physiologic responses from patients.

The new system is the first time adherence data from Proteus's system will integrate directly into an electronic data capture system. It will allow clinical trial investigators access to accurate medication adherence data, something for which they currently rely on self-reporting and occasional lab tests. It also introduces a potential for cost-savings, according to the companies, by reducing the need for expensive manual processes for tracking adherence.

"The medication adherence option uniquely addresses the most critical information in a clinical trial: 'Did the patients use their medicine properly?'" Markus Christen, head of global development at Proteus said in a statement. "Combining this powerful new data with the technology, analysis, and capabilities of Oracle Health Sciences creates a game-changing opportunity for drug development."

With nearly $400 million in funding, Proteus Digital Health is one of the most funded private companies in digital health. In addition to Oracle, Proteus works or has worked with with Otsuka Pharmaceuticals in Japan, Novartis, and Lloydspharmacy, a UK chain of retail pharmacies. Last August the company published the results of a clinical trial indicating that the technology can accurately detect pill-taking 99 percent of the time. A few months later, they quietly released a new version of their core product for athletes.