What is the SmartPill®?
The SmartPill® is a new, noninvasive technology to evaluate the gastrointestinal tract. It is a nondigestible capsule that migrates through the gastrointestinal tract to measure pH, pressure, and temperature. It was approved by the FDA in 2006 for the evaluation of colonic transit time in patients with chronic constipation and to evaluate gastric transit time in patients with suspected gastroparesis. Other currently used gastrointestinal monitoring systems have some disadvantages, and the SmartPill® is suggested as an alternative. The SmartPill® has also been used for research purposes in various studies and has the potential to be used in diagnosis and monitoring of other gastrointestinal diseases. The aim of this article is to evaluate the clinical significance of the SmartPill® by comparing it to other previous gastrointestinal monitoring methods, examining the FDA approved indications, assessing other possible uses for it and providing health care professionals with key counseling points for patients.