A “smart pill” could be the latest breakthrough in the way irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is monitored and treated.
The new capsule - which could help thousands of sufferers - analyses the activities of the digestive system as it moves through the gut.
A monitor worn around the waist of the patient for a number of days then details the speed at which food passes along the colon, as well as the pressure, temperature and acidity in the gut.
The developers hope that the pill will result in IBS sufferers being given more tailored treatment.
Other digestive problems could also be monitored by the pill.
The device differs from others that can be swallowed by patients, as rather then only taking pictures, it can look at how the gut is functioning.
Europe’s first users of the SmartPill were doctors at central London’s private Princess Grace Hospital.
Dr Anthony Hobson, a gastro-physiologist, said his clinic has seen patients who have been seeing NHS doctors about their IBS but whose conditions have not always improved.
“This is a real breakthrough and gives many people real hope of a better quality of life by obtaining a more definitive diagnosis,” he said.