The convergence of the healthcare and technical industries has yielded significant advances in electronic health records and telehealth. Medication adherence has been a target of digital health technology development for many years. Smart pill technology is one such example; the technology is used to diagnose gastrointestinal disorders such as gastroparesis and constipation. This technology comprises computer software, a receiver worn (by the patient) and a wireless capsule that analyzes and sorts the information. The primary function of the system includes medication recording for the patient, with information pertaining to various parameters such as pressure, temperature and pH of gastrointestinal facts. The pill uses stomach fluids as a power source in order to broadcast signals back to the battery powered patch. The data includes essential information such as the body temperature, patients heart rate and time of digestion. The data is sent to a mobile application used by physicians to observe high degree of flexibility to monitor and diagnose diseases. Most digital technologies or medical apps have not been taken into consideration by many clinicians as they are unproven and too simplistic. However, the technology is expected to improve outcomes and workflow and decrease hospital readmissions. The major market drivers are willingness from the patients to opt this treatment, easy tracking of the bodily functions and managing prescriptions and the overall heath. However, possible health risks associated with a smart pill inserted into the body, privacy issues and ethical concerns are factors posing challenge to the market growth.
The market can be segmented by product type, into patient monitoring devices, drug delivery system and capsule endoscopy system. Factors such as wireless health monitoring and site specific drug delivery are expected to favor the adoption of these technologies by patients and physicians. Capsule endoscopy also known as GI capsule or camera capsule, pill cams or wireless endocapsule is used to diagnose GI disorders. Capsule endoscopy devices are microcapsule encompasses four components namely, a light source, color camera, transmitter and battery. Capsule endoscopy is available with high degree of flexibility. Wireless patient monitoring and smart pills for drug delivery (also known as intelligent drug delivery or Bio-MEMS drug delivery system) are still emerging technologies. Major industry participants include Boston Scientific Corporation, GE Healthcare, Stryker Corporation, Siemens Healthcare, Pentax Medical Company, Medtronic, Inc, Olympus Medical Technology, Smartpill Inc, Philips Healthcare, Philips Healthcare, Given Imaging Ltd and Novartis.
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