If you have ever had an endoscopy, you need to visit a surgicenter and go through a surgical prep. The procedure other than the anesthesia is fast but you need to take a day off from work and you are rewarded with a high bill in the end.
Doctors are also rewarded for doing these tests in surgicenters they often are part owners of. Ironically, most of these tests are negative. On the other hand, many chronic bowel diseases require periodic endoscopic exams that have some risk associated with the procedure itself.
Now, there appears to be a better way to use a camera that you ingest and the doctor gets a video readout to look inside you without all the extra cost and inconvenience.
Medtronic has just had their PillCam™ Small Bowel 3 @HOME approved by the FDA. The PillCam SB3 capsule is intended for visualization and monitoring of lesions that may indicate Crohn’s disease, or lesions that may be a source of obscure bleeding or that may be a cause of iron deficiency anemia.
It is possible that similar technologies can also detect ulcers and other commonly diagnosed conditions that are found through endoscopy and can be a better way of managing these conditions.
The camera captures images at a frame rate of 2 to 6 frames per second as it travels through the small bowel. The patient wears a data recorder and sensor belt and the images are taken for 8 hours and then sent remotely to the doctor for evaluation.