The initial program will use one of the Swiss firm's established drugs taken by transplant patients to avoid organ rejection. But Trevor Mundel, global head of development, believes the concept can be applied to many other pills.
The biotech start-up's ingestible chips are activated by stomach acid and send information to a small patch worn on the patient's skin, which can transmit data to a smartphone or send it over the Internet to a doctor.
Longer-term, he hopes to expand the "smart pill" concept to other types of medicine and use the wealth of biometric information the Proteus chip can collect, from heart rate and temperature to body movement, to check that drugs are working properly.
A bigger issue may be what checks should be put in place to protect patients' personal medical data as it is transmitted from inside their bodies by wireless and Bluetooth.