NaviCam for Diagnosing Gastrointestinal Tract Conditions

NICE has developed a medtech innovation briefing on NaviCam

NICE has published in May 2017 a medtech innovation briefing (MIB) on NaviCam for diagnosing gastrointestinal tract conditions.

The NaviCam (ANKON) is a miniaturised wireless endoscope in a single-use capsule, which is remotely controlled by magnetic guidance hardware. This includes a magnetic guidance robot, computer workstation and software. The magnetically controlled endoscopy system is indicated for the diagnosis of upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract and small bowel disease.

The NICE states in the MIB summary that innovative aspects are that unlike other capsule endoscopy systems, the capsule can be remotely controlled by the endoscopist, which may improve visualisation of the upper GI tract (including the stomach).

The intended place in therapy would be for diagnostic purposes instead of conventional gastroscopy or device-assisted enteroscopy in people with suspected upper GI tract or small bowel disease.

The main points from the evidence summarised in this briefing are from 5 studies involving 542 people including healthy volunteers, and adults and children from tertiary referral centres in China. They suggest that the NaviCam has similar diagnostic accuracy to conventional gastroscopy for diagnosing GI conditions, and is better tolerated.

Key uncertainties around the evidence are that none of the published studies were done in the UK, so results may not be generalisable to NHS settings; and that some of the evidence is in healthy volunteers which may not reflect clinical situations.

The list price of the NaviCam is 175,000 GBP for the console and 400 GBP per single-use capsule (exclusive of VAT). The resource impact may be greater than conventional gastroscopy or enteroscopy because of the high costs of the equipment. This may be offset by reduced staff numbers or if the NaviCam improves diagnostic accuracy or delivers additional patient benefits, such as increased tolerability and convenience.