Much like the small bowel Pillcam, SmartPill motility is an ingestible capsule that contains an electronic monitoring device that collects readings regarding the functioning and movement of the GI tract. Temperature, pressure, and pH levels are constantly monitored and the information is sent back to a data recorder. That information is then analyzed and interpreted by the doctor and an accurate diagnosis is made.
The SmartPill measures how well the digestive tract functions. It tracks the movement of foods through the digestive system showing the temperature, pressure, and pH levels as certain foods travel through the stomach, small intestine, and finally the large intestine. The device shows areas where digestion is the strongest, as well as areas of weakness. It can identify areas that may be affected by certain disease states. The procedure is noninvasive and requires no downtime. The patient ingests the capsule and it travels through the digestive tract alongside food. The capsule is eventually eliminated in the stool.
There are very few risks associated with the SmartPill device. The most common risk is retention of the device in the digestive tract. It may become lodged in a particular area if there is disease or narrowing. In most cases, the capsule will pass through the system without incident. There is always a risk of nausea and mild gastrointestinal discomfort as the Smart Pill is ingested through the mouth. These risks are minimal, however, and only a very few incidents have been reported.