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The capsule offering a 3D view of the GI tract

Find out about the latest diagnostic imaging technology in the first article in our innovation column

Jennifer Parker
16 November 2017, at 9:07am

ALICAM enables veterinarians to measure GI transit times and capture images of the GI tract without sedation, anaesthesia or restriction of movement.

What is its key use?

ALICAM is indicated for use when a dog or horse is displaying any of the following signs:

• Weight loss 
• Reduced appetite 
• Vomiting 
• Diarrhoea
• Food intolerance 
• Abdominal pain 
• Dark stools or blood in stool
• Unexplained anaemia 
• Suspected ulcer or mass

What problem does it solve?

GI disease is very common; however, establishing a diagnosis and treatment plan can be problematic. ALICAM allows a veterinarian in any setting to acquire intra-luminal images of the GI tract and obtain a consultation from a specialist. ALICAM is most frequently used:

  • When traditional GI work-up has failed to provide a diagnosis.

  • When endoscopy or anaesthesia are not viable.

  • When lesions are present beyond the reach of an endoscope.

  • As a non-invasive follow-up to monitor the progress of previously prescribed treatments.

How does it work?

Four on-board cameras image the GI tract, giving a 360-degree view as the capsule is propelled by peristalsis. Thousands of images are captured during the study and are stored on on-board memory chips.

These images are then downloaded, correlated with clinical history and analysed by internal medicine specialists who offer a report containing their interpretation and recommendations. 

Has it been proven in practice?

Yes. In the past 18 months, there have been a number of peer-reviewed publications and clinical abstracts demonstrating safety and efficacy as well as its utility in a number of different clinical scenarios. 

Why should a surgery invest in it?

• It helps to improve care for patients with GI disease.
• Up-front costs are minimal. 
• It requires no training and only a few minutes to administer. 
• The images are interpreted for you by a board-certified internal medicine specialist. 
• It can be helpful in a wide range of clinical settings. 
• Clients love it! 

How do you use it?

No special training is required to operate/administer the capsule. Simply removing the capsule from its package turns it on. ALICAM is administered in much the same way as a pill. The capsule is returned to the manufacturer via courier and the data is downloaded and interpreted by specialists who will generate a report with treatment recommendations. The report and video are then sent to the veterinarian via email.

What sets this product apart from the competition?

ALICAM is the only capsule imaging service designed speci cally for veterinary use. The image quality, device safety and clinical ef cacy have been documented for veterinary applications. The workstation to download and read images has been eliminated as well as the need for external sensors. All that is needed to image a patient is the capsule itself. This minimises the cost to adopt the technology. ALICAM is also a service, not just a device. The burden of downloading images, interpreting them and then generating a report with treatment recommendations is performed by the company.

How much does it cost?

The cost for the entire study (including the capsule, outward/return shipping and the interpretation/reporting by a specialist) is approximately £525 (accurate as of October 2017). 

More information can be found at www.alicamvet.com; the ALICAM main line is 02085 33 99 22. Readers can access discounted rates by completing the contact form and quoting the code VP2017.