Sravanthi Parasa, MD, gastroenterologist at Swedish Gastroenterology, talks about innovations in gastroenterology technology.
While there aren't many widely-used digital therapeutics in gastroenterology yet, there are many other tehnologies like virtual reality that are growing more and more popular in the field, said Sravanthi Parasa, MD, gastroenterologist at Swedish Gastroenterology.
How are digital therapeutics being used in gastroenterology?
I think gastroenterology is not as much exposed to digital therapeutics yet, but there are several upcoming companies that are using various modes. We now know that virtual reality can help with pain, irritable bowel syndrome [IBS], those kinds of things. So, those technologies will probably come up for commercial use in the near future. That's in terms of VR [virtual reality] kind of things.
From a measurement standpoint, right now we have some innovation happening in the IBD [inflammatory bowel disease] space, mostly. Because, if a patient has increased bowels, or we don't know if they're going into a flare, or it's their underlying IBS that's getting worse, you can actually have a kit for fecal calprotectin, which is a measure that we look at when we're looking at inflammation. That kit, you can do it at home. The patient doesn't need to come into the hospital. And you can use your smartphone to know the calprotectin level and that can communicate to your physician's office. You can say, "hey, the [calprotectin level] is high, so I think you are ill. So you need to come into the hospital," or something like that. So there are some technologies out there, but not really directly like a wearable, like Apple Watch, unless you're looking at the role of exercise or some other things for a disease outcome.