Electronic pill shows its smarts by measuring pH levels in digestive tract

CapsuleAn electronic diagnostic tool called the SmartPill is swallowed by patients in order to take measurements as it travels through the gastrointestinal tract. A new study by physician-scientists at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center used the device in patients with mild to moderate ulcerative colitis (UC), determining that they have significantly more acidic pH in their colons, compared with the average person — a finding that may impact treatment strategy.

The study was presented today at the Digestive Disease Week (DDW) meeting in Chicago, Ill.

"By using the SmartPill to measure the pH throughout the digestive tract, we were able to see how the pH levels can vary in patients with ulcerative colitis. This may help us understand why some drug treatments are more effective than others," says Dr. Brian Bosworth, lead investigator, assistant professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, and a Crohn’s and colitis specialist at the Jill Roberts Center for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.

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