A global perspective on capsule endoscopy
A search of the internet today to quantify the estimated value of capsules from a global perspective, easily delivers figures stating around $200 million in 2014 to about $400 million by 2020, which would be approximately 10% of the gastrointestinal endoscopic market. Is this a steep rise within just six years or could the capsule market do even better? What chances does this offer and what are the key aspects for future success? By 2020, more than 1 billion people are aged sixty or older and around one third of them will live in what the UN calls “more developed regions”. Naturally, this brings an increased demand for colorectal cancer screening and surgery. But keeping in mind that basically every healthcare system, in any country, is already operating at its limits, how do we secure future treatment for a growing community? Surely more competition will steadily bring down prices for capsules. However, that does not ease the amount of time that is spent to properly read any video and issue a valid diagnosis for every patient. This article intends to give an overview about the current global market for capsule endoscopy (CE) with a perspective on typical patients, their indications, and how the capsules are used and by whom. Further aspects, such as standardization of training, reading and future trends will also be elaborated on.