Cool Technology for Pharmacy

There’s a running joke among pharmacists that we have medication to treat just about everything. It’s kind of like Apples “There’s an app for that”, i.e. “There’s a pill for that”. Well, we’re getting closer to making that statement a reality. The SmartPill is a diagnostic device in the shape of a giant capsule. It is taken by the patient and wirelessly transmits data to the physician as it journeys through the patient’s small and large bowel.


SmartPill is an ingestible, wireless capsule that measures pressure, pH and temperature as it transits the GI tract. This information is used to provide gastric emptying time, combined small and large bowel transit time, whole gut transit time, pressure contraction patterns from the antrum and duodenum and motility indices.

Administered in the physician’s office, the SmartPill test is completely ambulatory and the patient is free to go about their normal routine during the course of the test. As the SmartPill Capsule passes through the GI tract, it transmits data to a SmartPill Data Receiver worn by the patient. Once the single-use capsule has passed from the body, the patient returns the Data Receiver to the Physician who then can download the collected data to a PC. The Physician then uses SmartPill’s MotiliGI software to analyze and display the data. Within minutes, the Physician has test results in both graphical and report formats.


According to the manufacturer, the SmartPill is capable of transmitting data continuously for more than 5 days. And at the end of its journey, the SmartPill is “excreted naturally from the body”. I let you figure that one out on your own.

It would be interesting to see if the SmartPill design could be used for targeted drug delivery.

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