Bill Zachry. Twitter @wzachry. Digital Pills…one answer to our healthcare problems? Last November, the FDA approved new technology comprised of an ingestible sensor, the size of a grain of sand, placed in medications, a small sensor patch that is wearable by the patient, a mobile device application and a provider portal. The company that developed the technology, Proteus Digital Health, touts on their website that the technology leads “…to more informed healthcare decisions for everyone involved.” Read The FDA has approved the first digital pill. This technology allows healthcare providers and concerned family members to track exactly how much of a prescribed drug was taken and when. That information can be extremely helpful when there is a risk of abuse, or when medications that are critical to a patient’s health are required to be taken at regular intervals. It could also help curtail the cost of the estimated $200 billion spent on medications prescribed, but never taken. This article claims that is about fifty percent of all prescribed medications.

One unexplored potential is its impact on the opioid epidemic. What would happen if the sensor was on every oxycodone and hydrocodone pill? Of course there are some obvious challenges of using this kind of technology with medicine and patients, mostly having to do with privacy issues. This new technology will require additional instructions from the doctor with the patient. Increased communication between the doctor and the patient may actually improve more than just pharmacy compliance. As with all new technology, the intentions are good, but what are the unintended consequences of using a technology like this?

Linda Van Dillen. Twitter @CompAllianceRN Adopting a Societal Approach to RTW / Return to Function. I serve on the IAIABC Disability Management and Return to Work Committee (an all-volunteer committee) and we recently formulated a paper titled, “Return To Work: A Foundational Approach To Return To Function.” In our paper we examined the injuries that cause a worker to have lost time at work. We believe that full reintegration of the injured person is not possible without all key stakeholders committing to the restoration of health and function of the injured person. We explored common misperceptions and realities that exist among these stakeholder groups when it comes to RTW efforts. The groups we examined were the worker, employers, caregivers, insurance companies, regulators and legislators, and attorneys representing the injured worker. Read the full report here and contact me or IAIABC if you are interested in requesting a member of this committee present at a conference regarding the information detailed in this paper.

Yvonne Guibert. Twitter @buzzystreet How do you rate your resilience? We live in a high stress world. Demands on our time and attention are constantly on the rise and so is our stress level. It is estimated that stress is costing the US economy in excess of $300 billion per year. Did you know the World Health Organization considers stress to be the global health epidemic of the 21st century? So my question to you is, how do you rate your resilience? How do you cultivate it? Do you practice it at home? Do you encourage resilience in the workplace? Here is a good article that discusses 5 Ways to Boost Your Resilience at Work. Enjoy.