In a pilot study conducted within the Georgia Department of Corrections, the first prison in the United States to receive accreditation by the American Medical Association for its health care delivery services, PillCam ESO was used to evaluate five inmates with cirrhosis for varices, which were identified in two of them. Health care savings were calculated based on the estimated expense for prisoner transfer to a site that performs esophago-gastro-duodenoscopy - also known as EGD or upper endoscopy - and the standard charges for the EGD procedure compared with expenses for PillCam ESO capsule and remote interpretation of video results.
"Significant cost savings can be achieved when screening for varices within a prison population by bringing the PillCam ESO equipment and the procedure to the patient at the incarceration site where a trained nurse can administer the test and a physician can then remotely interpret results", stated Robert Schade, MD, Professor of Medicine, Chief, Gastro-enterology, Medical College of Georgia.
In addition, study co-author, Iryna Hepburn, MD, noted: "This screening method, combined with remote interpretation, may provide a useful tool for providing expert interpretation of GI disorders in remote or rural settings, where patients have limited access to specialist care."
"PillCam ESO 2 capsule can deliver an estimated 90 percent savings equal to $4200 per patient in prison health care costs, when compared to costly patient transport to a prison site that performs EGD and the standard charges for the procedure", stated Israel Raz, Chief Marketing Officer, Given Imaging. "Of equal importance, safety of the corrections personnel and general populace is improved by bringing the video capsule to the patient and eliminating the need for inmate transport."
Esophageal varices or enlarged veins can occur as a complication of cirrhosis and/or fibrosis of the liver. As liver cirrhosis advances, blood is restricted from flowing through the liver, which can cause esophageal veins to enlarge. It's vital to check for the initial appearance of these enlarged veins, or varices, and then to monitor for any increase in size. Roughly one-fourth of these varices eventually start to bleed and 10 percent to 20 percent of patients die within six weeks of the bleeding episode. The prevalence of liver disease among prisoners is high and is attributed to the population's high level of engagement in risky behaviours.
As for the launch of RAPID 5 Access: "RAPID 5 Access goes one step further in making PillCam capsule endoscopy fit seamlessly into the work flow of a physician's office", stated Homi Shamir, president and CEO of Given Imaging. "Integration into a facility's software system further reduces the amount of time spent on process and frees the physician and staff to spend more time caring for patients."
"Software advances, such as RAPID Access, leverage our existing IT infrastructure and allow us to more easily offer the gold standard of small bowel diagnosis, PillCam capsule endoscopy, while focusing more of our time on caring for patients", stated Scott R. Ketover, MD, Presidentʦvmp:amp; Chairman, Minnesota Gastro-enterology. "RAPID Access was very easy to implement throughout our network of offices that offer capsule endoscopy services. With RAPID Access we are able to manage the data and files created by the capsule endoscopy system much more efficiently."ʠ
RAPID 5 Access brings many advantages to the Capsule Endoscopy Programme:
- Utilizes existing computers and network system to create, manage and store PillCam studies
- Imports patient demographic data for easy patient check-in
- Exports procedure reports and images for use in electronic medical record systems