Instead of taking a pill a day, what if you could take one pill that lasted 16 years? That’s the premise for a new project funded by the Gates Foundation, which looks at innovative ways to deliver drugs into the body. A single smart capsule could release drugs into a patient’s body over the span of years, and respond to remote wireless signals if doctors want to alter or halt the treatment.

The most immediate use could be a smarter replacement to the standard birth control pill. The Gates Foundation project looks to develop a pill that would automatically release a contraceptive hormone into the bloodstream, lasting for 16 years or until it’s disabled by a wireless signal.

The project is planning to start preclinical testing in 2015 and reach the market in 2018, but there are still many questions to be answered, including security issues.

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