Smart pills can be defined as ingestible medical devices. These devices consist of elements which include sensors, patches, cameras, and trackers. These devices can be swallowed by patients to offer a non-invasive comprehensive examination of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract of the patients, thereby helping in better monitoring & diagnostics. The smart pills further allow a through health monitoring of various physiological metrics such as such as heart rate, activity and respiratory patterns and prompt sharing of useful data among clinicians, patients and their caregivers. Other primary application of these medical pills to keep a tab on medication adherence among patients.
Smart pills as modern diagnostic techniques offer unique advantages over endoscopy and colonoscopy. Capsule endoscopy has been heralded as a major technical innovation, since the development greatly impacts the proper diagnosis and management of various esophageal disorders, mall bowel diseases, and colonic disorders, among many others. Capsule endoscopes provide complete examination of GI tract which consists of a complete view of stomach including esophagus, small intestine and large intestine. Gastrointestinal diagnosis contributed the maximum revenue with around 84% of total market share.
Various capsule endoscopes present in the market are colon capsule, small bowel capsule and esophagus capsule endoscopes.
Intensive studies by researchers are focused on designing products that will help doctors and clinicians to obtain clearer images of the GI tract. The development of such products has paved the path for gastrointestinal cancer detection. Recently, researchers from Chinese University of Hong Kong, have developed an advanced endoscope reckoned as ‘Tadpole Endoscope (TE), since the movement of the device resembles the kinetics of tadpoles’. The presence of a soft tail in the device impart certain unique properties. The device can be guided remotely around the GI tract by clinicians. As a result, better imaging of the entire stomach is achieved facilitating the location of any problem with greater accuracy.
Another smart application of these pills is patient monitoring. The parameters such as temperature, pH, blood pressure and drug adherence are monitored among patients. As per a World Health Organization (WHO) estimate, about half of us take medicines erroneously, and more than 50% of medicines are prescribed or even available in the market inappropriately. The consequences can be disastrous which resulting in development of complications and further deterioration of health. This also cost healthcare industry billions every year. To cater to aforementioned non-adherence in patients Proteus Digital Health, Inc. California-based Proteus Digital Health and Otsuka Pharmaceuticals have designed smart pill which includes an ingestible sensor. The digital pill is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a tool to be used in measuring medication non-adherence. The new drug application which was approved by FDA was for an oral tablet. This oral tablet combined Otsuka’s branded antipsychotic Abilify (aripiprazole) with an embedded ingestible sensor device developed by Proteus Digital Health
There are various professional and in-depth studies done by different market research firms tracking the changing market dynamics in terms of the current and future market trends. Recently, Allied Market Research has published a report titled ” Smart Pills Technology Market”, which offers an in-depth industry insight into the key drivers and restraints, detailed segmentation and forecast along with industry profile of key market players. As per the report, the global smart pills technology market is forecast reach $627.1 million growing at a CAGR of 21.2% during 2015-2020.