Researchers have fashioned tablets of Truvada (tenofovir disoproxil fumarate/emtricitabine) that contain a tiny monitoring device that can ultimately communicate information about an individual’s adherence to the daily pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) regimen to a computerized system, MedPage Today reports.

The edible sensor, which is 1 millimeter by 1 mm by 0.45 mm, dissolves in the gut. While in the body, tiny sensor particles—minerals like those contained in vitamin supplements—communicate with a Bluetooth-enabled skin patch worn on the torso. The patch then sends data to a mobile device, which finally transmits encrypted information about PrEP adherence to a secure computer portal. With the individual’s permission, clinicians can thus monitor his or her adherence to PrEP in real time and provide interventions to improve adherence if necessary.

Researchers conducted what is known as a pharmacokinetics study—an analysis of how medication is metabolized by the body—comparing the sensor-inclusive Truvada to regular Truvada.

Presenting their findings at the International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam (AIDS 2018), researchers concluded that there was no significant difference in how participants metabolized the two types of tablets.

Ninety-two percent of the participants reported a positive experience with what is known as the Digital Health Feedback System.

The study authors are currently conducting a study to determine whether they can harness this system to determine who may need adherence counseling.

To read the MedPage Today article, click here.