SmartTab: Time-Release Medicine at Your Command
Robert Niichel spent 15 years managing time-release products in the pharmaceutical industry that delivered medicine to the human body. Then he had an idea to join a medicine capsule and a laptop through a wireless connection. If he could make the capsule release medicine on demand, it would reduce cost and provide better patient outcomes. He called his invention SmartTab. Niichel is also the founder of zümXR, which brings time-release micro-beads to the food and beverage industry.
“Imagine someday when most of your capsules and tabs have a connection with a watch or the IoT. To think we went from an idea, to proof of concept, and now we’re onto human studies only three years later. We have a capsule that every human can use in the future–that is a really cool project,” said Founder and CEO of SmartTab Robert Niichel.
Three years ago, Niichel developed a proof of concept for SmartTab, which has an antenna that receives signals and a coil that sends signals. After a person ingests the capsule, it passes through the body in several days. During the past year, Niichel used CARE Research for pre-clinical animal studies, which were successful.
Hosting a booth at the Physical Product Showcase during Denver Startup Week raised awareness about SmartTab. Roughly 1,000 people attended the event at the Dairy Block on September 17. The next steps for Niichel include series A funding to raise 30 million in capital for human clinical studies and seeking FDA approval for the device.
One application for SmartTab is to treat Crohn’s disease, which is an inflammation of the digestive tract. SmartTab delivers a low dose of medicine deep into the colon. The other applications include epilepsy, heart disease, and cancer.
“Denver is becoming a forerunner in digital health care. Denver Startup Week, Startup Health and the University of Colorado Hospital are making it easier to be part of that innovation. It makes sense that SmartTab would come out of Colorado because they are really working on some cool high-tech items,” Niichel said.