Oracle takes stake in ingestible health sensor maker

The move is Oracle's latest investment in the health care vertical

Aiming at health care as a key vertical market, Oracle has taken a minority stake in medical device maker Proteus Digital Health, which sells ingestible and wearable sensors for tracking health-related information.

Proteus is developing what it calls "Digital Medicines," which involve pharmaceutical drugs containing the ingestible sensors, according to the announcement. After a user swallows the drug, the sensor can communicate with another device worn on the skin, which can track the body's physical responses to the medication. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the ingestible sensors last year.

Proteus' technology will be integrated with Oracle's family of software for running clinical trials, providing "clinical investigators worldwide the ability to measure information about medication ingestion, dose timing, and associated physiologic response," according to a statement.

The Proteus investment is Oracle's latest in its portfolio of offerings for drug makers, following the 2010 acquisition of Phase Forward and last year's purchase of ClearTrial, among others.

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison also has a deep personal interest in health care, serving as chairman of the Ellison Medical Foundation, a nonprofit organization that is focused on "defining the fundamental biological mechanisms that prevent age-related diseases and disabilities," according to its website.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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Chris Kanaracus

IDG News Service
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