Medtronic to discontinue GI SmartPill after 17 years

Medtronic plans to discontinue its SmartPill, a wireless ingestible capsule that monitors pH, transit time and temperature in the digestive tract, following 17 years on the market, according to a June 22 report from Medscape.

The company has not specified when it will leave the market, but it is likely due to a business decision, not a safety issue, according to the report. 

Braden Kuo, MD, a gastroenterologist in Boston who took part in the SmartPill's development, said that the discontinuation is causing concern among his colleagues as there is no other analogous FDA-approved device on the market. 

Dr. Kuo said that thousands of SmartPills are used in GI clinics every year, and they are commonly covered by insurance. 

The SmartPill was originally cleared by the FDA in 2006. Six years later, it was sold to Given Imaging, which was acquired by Medtronic in 2015. 

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