Smart Pill GI Mobility


Smart Pill GI Mobility

Our center utilizes a multidisciplinary team approach to your healthcare, which means that patients benefit from the combined expertise of physicians who have the knowledge, perspective and experience to address all aspects of your complete gastroenterological care.

We also offer the most advanced diagnostic techniques and treatments for a wide variety of gastroenterological conditions, and are one of only a handful of gastroenterological groups in the Greater Los Angeles are to do so.  One of the latest of those technological diagnostic advancements is the SmartPill.  SmartPill offers a convenient way to measure important information related to GI symptoms. SmartPill does not take pictures, but measures the amount of time that it takes to move food through the entire GI tract, which assists the gastroenterologists in evaluating the function of the gastrointestinal system.

SmartPill is a disposable capsule that the patient swallows at their doctor’s office. The capsule travels through the GI tract and wirelessly transmits data about the GI tract to a recorder worn on a belt clip or lanyard. The data collected by SmartPill allows physician to evaluate the entire GI tract without using radiation. Because SmartPill does not require sedation, after swallowing capsule, patients are able to resume most of their daily activities.

Data collected by SmartPill allows physician to determine if and how the symptoms are related to conditions such as chronic constipation, gastroparesis (a condition in which the contents of the stomach empty too slowly) and malabsorption.

Useful points to know before the test:

  • No food for 6 hours after swallowing the pill and avoid alcohol during the test.
  • Do not take medications that affect gastrointestinal motility (eg: laxative, bowel cathartics, anti-diarrhea pills…).
  • Avoid vigorous exercise (sits-up, abdominal crunches, prolonged aerobic activity more than 15 minutes etc.).
  • Diabetic patients take ½ of morning insulin on the first day of testing (unless otherwise instructed by your doctor) but after that, the patient can follow a personalized treatment during the test. Prior to the test, patients should talk with their physician about their routine medications, including pain medications, sedatives, tranquilizers, antispasmodics and promotility medications. Some medications will not affect the test and may be continued as per physician’s instructions. These include medications for heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.
  • The data receiver features an “Event” button. Press the “Event” button when there is a bowel movement and record the date and time of the event in the diary paper. The patient may be asked to record other events such as getting up in the morning, sleeping, meal times, bowel movements and other various activities.

The procedure takes about 3-5 days (to be decided by physician).

The day before the test:

This test requires an overnight fast beginning at midnight and will continue upon wakening. The patient should not smoke or drink anything the day of the test. Diabetic patients should take ½ of their recommended morning insulin on the day of test (unless instructed otherwise by doctor) and resume recommended treatment as instructed by physician.

Day 1

SmartPill measures the amount of time it takes for food in the stomach to empty, therefore, when the patient arrives at office they will be provided with a SmartBar meal to eat prior to swallowing the SmartPill capsule.

The SmartBar is a meal replacement (similar to a granola bar) which is eaten just prior to swallowing the capsule. Its specific nutritional make-up and caloric content are important for a valid test result. After eating the SmartBar, patient will be given the SmartPill receiver that records data and will be wirelessly transmitted from the SmartPill capsule. While low in gluten, the SmartBar is not gluten-free.  Patient should not have any food for 6 hours after beginning the test. Patient may have small quantities of water (no more than one half cup) during that 6 hour period. This recorder should remain within two feet of the patient during the entire test and can be worn on a belt clip or lanyard for optimal mobility (you cannot lay on it).

After swallowing the capsule (size is 26 mm x 13 mm, slightly larger than a multi-vitamin), the patient will be able to resume most of their normal routine but should avoid vigorous exercise. Patient should not feel any pain or discomfort when swallowing the capsule or while the capsule moves through the GI tract. It is naturally passed during a bowel movement, usually within a few days.

Day 2-5

Throughout the test, the recorder should be worn at all times except when showering and sleeping. The recorder should be kept within two feet of the body to ensure that all data are being transmitted and collected from the SmartPill capsule.

Once the SmartPill has passed with a bowel movement, patient will return to the physician’s office and the data will be downloaded from the recorder.

Once the data has been downloaded, the physician will analyze and interpret the results. Physician will discuss the test results with patient within 2 weeks.

Patient should not experience any side effects related to the SmartPill motility monitoring test. The capsule passes with a regular bowel movement within a few days (do not to look for it; sometimes it passes without any notice). SmartPill is not approved for children under the age of 18 years.

Should the patient experience any unusual symptoms they should consult their physician immediately.

Do not undergo an MRI until capsule passage is confirmed by your physician. SmartPill is safe for pregnant and women who are breast feeding.

Gastroenterology Associates also offers a full range of diagnostic procedures, as well as medical, surgical and minimally invasive treatment options to meet the individual needs of patients with gastroenterological conditions of any kind.  Contact us if you are experiencing gastrointestinal issues that have not yet been addressed by our physicians.


Gastroenterology Associates of Beverly Hills
8631 W. 3rd Street, Suite 815E
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Phone: 310-858-2224
Fax: 310-858-2225

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