There were 14,126 Gastroenterologists practicing in the United States in 2016, performing a wide range of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. These physicians practice over a range of settings: office, hospital, and ambulatory surgery center (ASC). There are approximately 5,600 hospitals and 5,700 ASCs in the United States.
Annually, over 10,000 US patients are diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease, an inflammatory condition of the bowel that can lead to severe complications. Over 500,000 patients are active with Crohn’s in the US (https://www.pillcamcrohns.com/?s_mcid=ps-ppc-google-CS-capsuleendoscopy-v). Other diseases diagnosed and managed by Capsule procedures include:
Until the 1970s the estimated global prevalence of celiac disease in the general population was 0.03%. The currently estimated prevalence is 1%, with a statistical range of probability of 0.5–1.26% in the general population in Europe and the USA. Even taking into account that the actual occurrence rate of celiac disease has been underestimated for many decades, the prevalence of this disease is increasing.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is the most common functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorder with worldwide prevalence rates ranging in the area of 10–15%. Functional disorders are conditions where there is an absence of structural or biochemical abnormalities on common diagnostic tests, which could explain symptoms.
Among patients, about 40% of people have mild IBS, 35% moderate IBS, and 25% severe IBS. Many people do not recognize IBS symptoms. Yet, IBS is one of the most common disorders seen by physicians. Source: https://aboutibs.org/facts-about-ibs/statistics.html
Obscure gastrointestinal bleeding (OGIB)
“In patients who present with gastrointestinal bleeding, the underlying etiology may not be evident on initial evaluation in 10–20% of cases. Recurrent or persistent bleeding occurs in approximately half of these patients (5%) and can pose a significant challenge to both diagnosis and management.”
OGIB refers to conditions in which bleeding may start and stop, but escapes definitive detection by standard endoscopy or non-invasive imaging tests such as Small bowel series, in which the patient drinks a barium solution, which is tracked by X-rays as it passes through the GI tract. Other tests included tagged RBC scan, in which a radioactive substance is used to tag red blood cells, which are then observed as they leak into the gut lumen.
OGIB patients are often hospitalized for transfusions and observation – in such cases until a diagnosis is achieved, the hospitalizations are often recurrent, running up costs and inflicting pain and suffering on patients and families. WCE has been shown to be the gold standard in such patients, achieving diagnosis at a very high rate.
In Veterinary medicine, WCE has generally been considered unfeasible for a number of reasons, chief among them the very long times that food takes to pass through the GI tracts of many animals.