SmartPill Motility Monitoring
A real game changer when it comes to diagnostic testing, the SmartPill is a single-use ingestible capsule that can measure how quickly food moves through your digestive tract – all without having to undergo an invasive, time-consuming procedure or radiation-based imaging tests. And it’s as easy as swallowing a pill. Typically used for patients experiencing chronic constipation or problems with the proper emptying of the stomach (gastroperesis), the SmartPill makes it easier than ever to gather important medical information.
How SmartPill Motility Monitoring Works
SmartPill is a disposable capsule that you swallow at your physician’s office.
The sensor-based capsule travels through your digestive tract and wirelessly transmits data to a recorder worn on a belt clip or lanyard, which can be viewed by your physician later. The capsule measures pressure, pH (acidity), transit time and temperature, and then is naturally excreted from the body with a bowel movement approximately 8 - 72 hours later.
Because SmartPill measures the amount of time it takes food in your stomach to empty, when you arrive at your physician's office you will be provided with a SmartBar to eat prior to swallowing the SmartPill capsule. The SmartBar is similar to a granola bar, but with a specific nutritional makeup and calorie content that are important for a valid test result.
Because the procedure does not require sedation, after swallowing the capsule, patients are able to resume most daily activities while testing is underway. Check with your doctor, but you should be able to drink clear liquids and even a light meal a few hours after ingesting the capsule – although strenuous physical activity such as running or jumping should be avoided during the study.
Until the SmartPill passes with a bowel movement, patients are advised to wear the recorder at all times except during bathing and sleeping (when it should be kept within two feet to ensure all data from the SmartPill is being transmitted to the recorder).
FAQs: SmartPill Motility Monitoring
The SmartPill is a convenient way to collect data about the gastrointestinal tract without using radiation (imaging tests) or without severely interrupting a patient’s daily activities.
The SmartPill capsule is 26mm x 13mm, and is slightly larger than a multivitamin.
You should not feel any pain or discomfort when swallowing the capsule or while the capsule moves through your GI tract. It is naturally passed during a bowel movement, usually within a few days.
SmartPill does not take pictures. Rather, it collects information that is transmitted to a nearby external data recorder.
As the capsule naturally passes through the digestive tract, it collects valuable information including motility (the time it takes to move food through the GI tract), pressure, pH (acidity), and temperature. This information allows your physician to determine if and how your symptoms may be related to certain GI conditions such as chronic constipation and gastroparesis (when the stomach empties too slowly).
Recovery is immediate. The test does not require sedation or drinking a liquid prep to empty any part of your GI tract prior to the test.
Yes. Prior to your test, you should talk with your physician about the prescribed medications you take including pain medications, sedatives, tranquilizers, antispasmodics and promotility medications. Some medications will not affect the test and may be continued as per your physician’s instructions. These include medications for heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.
If the convenience of SmartPill motility monitoring sounds intriguing, call us to find out more. Our providers can help identify whether you a good candidate for the procedure. Call Oceana Gastroenterology Associates at (951) 934-0505 or use the appointment request form to schedule your consultation.