Gastrointestinal endoscopes, which are primarily used for diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the stomach, esophagus and duodenum, are the largest and continuously growing segment of the endoscopy market. Much of this continued growth can be attributed to an aging population and an increasing demand for preventive screening, such as colonoscopies, and a consistently growing acceptance by patients and healthcare providers for such procedures.
Broader applications and increasing incidences of esophageal and colon cancer, and the availability of flexible endoscopes and electronic video endoscopes will probably drive further growth. With more than 1 million cases of rectal and colon cancer being diagnosed worldwide each year, it stands to reason that the strongest traction will be witnessed by increasing demand for less invasive devices used in colorectal cancer diagnostic applications – and those that can help detect the disease prior to it metastasizing to other organs. Obesity is another driving factor behind the Gastro Intestinal endoscopy growth, with more patients resorting to gastric bypass and gastric banding to aide in their weight loss. This has perpetuated the need for exploratory Gastro Intestinal procedures, which are performed both pre- and post operatively to pinpoint possible risks that may impact the bariatric procedure.
Gastro Intestinal videoscopes, which have largely dominated the Gastro Intestinal endoscopy market, will probably lose market share to capsule endoscopy devices in the coming years.
The expected continuation of growth in the capsule endoscopy segment stems from a number of factors, including enhanced visualization, higher specificity, and more comfort to the patient. With this procedure, patients simply swallow an encapsulated endoscope – about the size of a large pill – which allows the doctor to evaluate the small intestine (which cannot be reached by traditional upper endoscopy or by colonoscopy). While the most common reason for performing capsule endoscopy is to identify a cause of bleeding from the small intestine, it may also be used to detect polyps, inflammatory bowel disease, ulcers and tumors of the small intestine. Another key benefit: The process is painless and the capsule is safely excreted.
Capsule endoscopy, when used to explore the colon, is on its way. Multi-center studies are comparing capsule endoscopy with optical colonoscopy in a cohort of patients with known or suspected colonic disease for the detection of colorectal polyps and cancer.
MEMSCAP has developed in partnership with Given Imaging a Magnetic Switch which is qualified in the revolutionary Given Imaging pill cam. MEMSCAP device triggers the cameras of the pill. MEMSCAP technology has a natural fit with this market due to the need for ultra-miniaturization and accuracy.