Overcoming the Obesity and Diabetes Epidemic: Flash to the Rescue
Researchers from NYU Abu Dhabi and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed an electrical pill that could be the answer to managing diabetes and obesity.
The smart capsule, named Flash, or fluid-wicking capsule for active simulation and hormone modulation, is an ingestible capsule that works by sending electric shocks through the stomach to suppress hunger levels, thereby regulating gut hormones related to hunger.
The pill can treat eating disorders like anorexia and obesity and other medical conditions that require food intake regulation.
According to the World Health Organisation, over a billion people worldwide are living with obesity, while 422 million people have diabetes. In the UAE, around one in five people have diabetes, and the numbers are set to double by 2040.
Flash could be an alternative to diabetes treatments such as insulin, as well as heart disease and eating disorders that require medication or surgery.
The pill is one of the first ingestible electroceuticals that regulate precise neurohormonal circuits while avoiding invasive treatments.
The researchers believe that further development of the pill could offer customisation for patients and even treat neuropsychological conditions like anxiety and depression. Flash is non-invasive, requires no surgical intervention, and has no side effects, unlike other medications that can cause unwanted side effects like restlessness, nausea, uncontrolled weight gain, headaches, and muscle spasms.
The researchers are conducting pre-clinical testing, with the goal of starting human trials within the next five years. The electrical pill could revolutionize the way diabetes and obesity are treated, providing patients with a non-invasive, comfortable treatment option without unwanted side effects.