US company Proteus Digital Health is to open the first international manufacturing site in Britain, set to employ some 200 skilled staff, which will serve as a new hub for the global digital medicines industry.
The manufacturing site will supply edible embedded microchips, that can tell if patients have taken their medication, to thousands of NHS patients which could save the service millions of pounds.
“This partnership will clearly benefit patients, the NHS and the economy,” said Miles Ayling, director of innovation at NHS England.
The move was welcomed by prime minister David Cameron who praised its impact on the economy and productivity. He said the initiative is “proof that our work to attract high-tech business to the UK is providing real benefits for people at home – all part of our long term economic plan.”
The sensor will be powered by reacting with stomach juices and information will be sent via Blutooth from the sensor to a smartphone or computer.
“Our lives are becoming increasingly digital, a variety of sectors have already undergone fundamental changes through the introduction of innovative digital approaches,” said Dr. Hakim Yadi, chief executive officer of the Northern Health Science Alliance.
The UK fought off global competition from major frontrunners including Singapore and Switzerland due to a large availability of high-tech manufacturing sites and expertise in product testing.