Smart pill technology is used to diagnose gastrointestinal (GI) disorders such as constipation and gastroparesis. Smart pill technology functions by providing the practitioner, with information pertaining to various parameters such as pH, temperature and pressure of gastrointestinal tract. This technology comprises wireless capsule, a receiver worn (by the patient) and computer software that analyzes and sorts the collated information. Smart pill is a nascent technology that holds immense potential in the field of medical diagnostics. The etiology for some of the gastrointestinal disorders is still unknown to physicians due to limited diagnostic scope with the existing medical devices. Smart pill technology with the help of the concept – biological microelectromechanical systems, enables practitioners with a high degree of flexibility to monitor and diagnose such clandestine and mysterious diseases.
Based on the type of technology, the smart pill technology market can be segmented into three categories namely, capsule endoscopy system, drug delivery system and patient monitoring devices (wireless). Capsule endoscopy devices are microcapsules comprising of four components namely: battery, transmitter, color camera and a light source. Capsule endoscopy system is available with high degree of flexibility and so can reach intricate parts of the GI tract to perform effective diagnosis. The higher degree of flexibility that a capsule endoscope is possessed with is due to the presence of microcapsules which are ingested by the patient.
The rising prevalence of geriatric gastrointestinal diseases will drive the growth of smart pill technologies market since they are efficient to diagnose the diseases effectively. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated prevalence rate of Crohn’s disease (a type of gastrointestinal disease) in 2012, ranged from 0.1 to 16 per 100,000 people in the U.S. Similarly, prevalence rate of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), in 2012 was estimated to be approximately 396 per 100,000 people in the U.S. Also, changing lifestyle (including shift in diet pattern) will augment the growth of smart pill technologies market. Likewise, increasing disposable income of the patients in developing countries would propel the growth of smart pill technologies market, since it will increase the affordability of patients to avail this diagnostic service.
Aging population will further boost the growth of smart pill technologies market. This is due to the fact that elderly people are at a higher risk of acquiring various gastrointestinal diseases such as ulcerative colitis and IBD. The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated that by 2050 world’s geriatric population count will reach around 2 billion. Thus, rising geriatric population will accentuate the growth of smart pill technologies market globally.
North America in 2012 accounted for the largest share of total smart pill technologies market and is expected to grow at a steady CAGR during the forecast period 2013 to 2019. Shifted trend for non-invasive treatment in the U.S. has contributed for the large revenue share in the region. Asia-Pacific is expected to grow at the highest CAGR followed by Europe, during the forecast period 2013 to 2019. The growth in these regions is attributed to the presence of large patient population coupled with increasing awareness about gastrointestinal diseases, and their diagnostic and treatment methods.
Increasing disposable income of the patient population will further boost the growth of smart pill technologies market. The major players operating in the smart pill technologies market include Novartis, Given Imaging Ltd, Philips Healthcare, Smartpill, Inc., Olympus Medical Technology, Medtronic, Inc., Pentax Medical Company, Siemens Healthcare, Stryker Corporation, GE Healthcare and Boston Scientific Corporation among other significant players.