What is a SmartPill?

At Gastroenterology of San Marcos - New Braunfels, we are proud to be the ONLY private GI practice in the state of Texas to offer this state of the art procedure.  This is a result of our striving to provide our patients with the absolute cutting edge of today's technological advances.

Do you experience gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms such as nausea, bloating, heartburn, constipation, or an early feeling of fullness when eating?  Any of these are often symptoms of a motility disorder, such as gastroparesis and/or chronic constipation.  If you suffer from these or other unexplained GI symptoms, SmartPill Wireless Motility Capsule may be right for you.

As the SmartPill capsule travels through your GI tract, it collects pressure, pH, and temperature data.  A data receiver worn on a belt or lanyard records the information collected by the capsule.  After you return the data receiver to your physician, the data are downloaded to a computer providing your physician with GI transit information to evaluate your stomach, small bowel, and colon.

Previously, to measure intestinal motility involved a Gastric Emptying Study and a Sitz Marker study.  Together, these tests involve numerous trips to the radiologist and exposure to radiation and multiple x-rays.  SmartPill offers more comfortable, more convenient, and less invasive alternative.  SmartPill also provides information about intestinal pressure measurements and small bowel transit, data unavailale via any other currently available testing.

Watch a brief VIDEO of the SmartPill in action.  Click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the SmartPill capsule do?
The SmartPill is a single-use, ingestible capsule that utilizes sensor technology to measure pressure, pH and temperature throughout the entire GI tract.

What data does SmartPill provide?
SmartPill provides gastric emptying time, small bowel transit time, colonic transit time, combined small and large bowel transit time and whole gut transit time. In addition, the capsule will characterize pressure patterns and provide motility indices for the antrum and duodenum. This data aids in the evaluation of motility disorders, specifically gastroparesis and chronic constipation.

Does the SmartPill capsule take pictures?
SmartPill does not take pictures. A logical compliment to endoscopy, SmartPill measures regional transit times.

How does SmartPill work?
The patient ingests a standard meal prior to swallowing the SmartPill capsule at the physician’s office. After capsule ingestion the patient returns to their normal routine, wearing a data receiver for three to five days. After the test is complete the patient returns the data receiver to the physician where the information is downloaded to the system computer. The physician analyzes the data and a consultation meeting is scheduled with the patient to review test results.

What is the size of the SmartPill capsule?
The SmartPill capsule measures 26 mm x 13 mm; it is slightly larger than a multi-vitamin.

Why is measuring transit important?
Transit abnormalities are commonly considered as a possible etiology for unexplained GI symptoms. A direct measurement of GI transit is important in establishing an accurate diagnosis because symptoms of delayed transit overlap with those of accelerated transit. Upper and lower gut symptoms also often overlap, therefore localizing transit abnormalities to a specific GI region is important in diagnostic evaluation.

Can SmartPill replace any currently used procedures?
SmartPill can replace gastric emptying scintigraphy (GES) and sitzmarkers (ROM).

What is the battery life of the SmartPill capsule and data receiver?
Both have 5+ days of battery life.

How long does it take to pass the capsule?
The capsule normally passes painlessly and naturally within 24-48 hours.

Are any latex materials used in the SmartPill capsule, and what is the biocompatibility?
No, latex materials are not used and all materials are biocompatible as determined by recognized standard test methods.

Is the SmartPill capsule reusable?
No, the SmartPill capsule is a single-use, disposable device.


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