What’s New in Gastroenterology? Innovative Technology & Novel Tools

Technology is advancing rapidly, making strides in all specialty medical fields. Gastroenterology is one of these specialties and is benefitting tremendously from innovative technologies, virtual reality, and new developments in artificial intelligence (AI). But how exactly can GI doctors use all these new tools to their advantage?

Gastroenterology — a medical specialty focused on the study of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract includes organs involved in the digestive process, such as the esophagus, the stomach, the colon, and the small intestine.

GI doctors eagerly work towards preventing and treating gastrointestinal diseases, performing screenings for colon cancer, evaluating inflammation, addressing gallstones, and managing digestive disorders and GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). But in this high-tech age, new tools and virtual solutions are now taking gastroenterology to the next level. 

Gastroenterology: An Overview

With the help of technology, GI doctors can find valuable support in conducting their work, using high-resolution imaging, applying screening methods with heightened accuracy, and utilizing innovative diagnostic tests.

This ultimately leads to diagnoses made faster and more accurately, while simultaneously offering patients better and more reliable treatment options. The results are improved health outcomes and higher patient satisfaction, with GI doctors enjoying the perks of high-tech tools to serve them on the job.

Gastroenterology marks a critical field, accounting for $119.6 billion in healthcare expenditures in 2018 and affecting over 40 million people in the U.S. alone who suffer from digestive diseases.¹ 

A study found a prevalence of digestive disease at 24% for the U.S. adult population, suggesting that digestive disease is common and actively exerts a profound financial burden on our health system.²

New Technologies for GI Doctors

Gastroenterology as a specialty continues to grow, particularly in light of the increasingly aging population in the U.S. and the prevalence of certain digestive disorders associated with these population changes. As the industry continues to grow, so does the technology supporting it. 

Below are a few examples of recent advances that can help GI doctors diagnose and treat patients. Let’s dive into some of these novel and highly innovative technologies to better understand where this specialty is headed.

Procedural Innovation: Endoscopy

Endoscopy is a conventional and frequently performed procedure that can help detect inflammation and ulcers, as well as explore the root cause of stomach pain. But, it has come a long way since the procedure was introduced many decades ago.

One of these new endoscopic procedures addresses the Candy Cane Syndrome by removing a small unfavorable fraction of the small intestine via a repurposed endoscopic device. This form of therapy offers a minimally invasive low-risk treatment alternative that can potentially yield similar results as conventional surgical procedures.³

Even capsule endoscopy — where you swallow a small camera embedded in a capsule that’s designed to exit your body with your bowel movement, has advanced significantly over the years. Some of these novel tools include the 5G-based remote magnetically controlled capsule endoscopy (MCE), which offers impeccable visualization and was found to have no adverse events.⁴ 

In addition, Micro-Tech endoscopy advances the effectiveness of scope-based procedures by focusing on improved designs, striving to perfect grip efficiency and stem length for exceptional results.

Chromoendoscopy has also made leaps in the last decade and is helping GI doctors in making diagnoses — a technique that combines staining and endoscopy. The high-resolution images provided can then facilitate the detection of cancer, lesions, and polyps.⁵

Procedural Innovation: Colonoscopy

Colonoscopy is the primary clinical tool for the detection of gastrointestinal diseases and colorectal cancer. With the recommendation made by the American Cancer Society (ACS) for screening visits to start at age 45, colonoscopy procedures have become even more significant.⁶

Initially developed as a rigid device, the colonoscope has evolved into a highly interventional tool with improved view and increased flexibility.⁷ GI doctors can now use modern technologies to suction, remove tissue for biopsies, and insufflate the abdominal area.⁷

Current advancements focus on attachment devices that can improve visibility (like that of mucosa), including Linked Color Imaging (LCI) which facilitates the detection of adenomas.⁷

Then there’s virtual colonoscopy, also referred to as screening CT colonography which offers a much easier alternative to the traditional colonoscopy approach. While the prep work remains similar for optimal bowel cleaning, virtual colonoscopy is non-invasive and uses countless cross-sectional CT images to determine what your colon and rectum look like.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Gastroenterology

Just like the rest of the healthcare industry, artificial intelligence and virtual reality are making their way into the gastroenterology specialty. With exponential growth in the field of AI, and gastroenterology heavily relying on imaging studies, there is significant potential for AI to enhance the identification of disease within the GI tract.

AI applications mainly constitute such that identify lesions (cancerous and non-cancerous), and polyps, and provide risk analysis for disease development and potential response to treatment.⁸ 

AI-supported systems can also spot infections, including Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection, which can promote the development of peptic ulcers among others. Using biopsy images, several studies found that artificial intelligence could identify and classify H. pylori infections with profound accuracy.⁸ 

AI algorithms are further helpful in recognizing disease patterns and complex variability in disease presentation.⁸  This is an especially valuable asset for factors contributing to Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBS) which, in turn, can be significantly affected by patient biology. These biological factors can easily dictate the course of the illness and its response to treatment.⁸ 

In addition, AI tools come in particularly handy for general risk assessments detecting patients at high risk for developing certain digestive disorders, and guiding the decision-making process in search of potential treatment options.

AI applications can further enhance the understanding of large datasets and promote the development of higher-accuracy models, as well as provide detailed depictions of potential disease outcomes. It can also help detect new associations between variables that were not linked previously — adding to the available knowledge about various diseases.

Vivlio Health® is Here to Support GI Doctors

In order to avoid redundant tests and better understand your patient’s medical history, symptoms, and past treatments, GI doctors are required to collaborate with primary care physicians. Thus, it is expected that clinicians effectively share medical records, especially in light of communicating existing medical conditions and therapy attempts for the complaints at hand.

A gastroenterologist will therefore value any previous colonoscopy and upper GI endoscopy reports, clinical and procedure notes, lab assessments, images (x-rays and CT scans if available), a patient’s family medical history, and a list of all concomitant medications. But getting your hands on these records isn’t always easy!

Vivlio Health was designed to help GI doctors and other specialty physicians exchange medical records effortlessly because we understand just how important it is for you to have all relevant clinical data available to you when your patient presents to you for his appointment.

Technology and innovation are at the heart of our company as we strive to support healthcare professionals with their daily tasks and enhance the patient experience. Vivlio Health is a cloud-based platform that helps you locate clinical records in no time, so you’re always prepared for your next patient and ready to provide the care you strive for.

Reach out for a free demo and embrace a new way of exchanging medical records — because, let’s face it, technology is what moves us forward.




  1. Peery, A. F., Crockett, S. D., Murphy, C. C., Jensen, E. T., Kim, H. P., Egberg, M. D., Lund, J. L., Moon, A. M., Pate, V., Barnes, E. L., Schlusser, C. L., Baron, T. H., Shaheen, N. J., & Sandler, R. S. (2022). Burden and Cost of Gastrointestinal, Liver, and Pancreatic Diseases in the United States: Update 2021. Gastroenterology, 162(2), 621–644.
  2. Mathews, S. C., Izmailyan, S., Brito, F. A., Yamal, J., Mikhail, O., & Revere, L. (n.d.). Prevalence and Financial Burden of Digestive Diseases in a Commercially Insured Population. Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 20(7), 1480-1487.e7. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cgh.2021.06.047.
  3. Greenberg, I., Braun, D., Eke, C., Lee, D., & Kedia, P. (2021). Successful treatment of “candy cane” syndrome through endoscopic gastrojejunal anastomosis revision. Clinical journal of gastroenterology, 14(6), 1622–1625. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12328-021-01511-6.
  4. Zhang, T., Chen, Y. Z., Jiang, X., He, C., Pan, J., Zhou, W., Hu, J. P., Liao, Z., & Li, Z. S. (2023). 5G-based remote magnetically controlled capsule endoscopy for examination of the stomach and small bowel. United European gastroenterology journal, 11(1), 42–50. https://doi.org/10.1002/ueg2.12339.
  5. Al-Kawas F. H. (2006). Chromoendoscopy. Gastroenterology & hepatology, 2(2), 101–103.
  6. “Colorectal Cancer Guideline | How Often to Have Screening Tests.” American Cancer Society, 17 November 2020, https://www.cancer.org/cancer/types/colon-rectal-cancer/detection-diagnosis-staging/acs-recommendations.html. Accessed 14 February 2024.
  7. Gangwani, M. K., Aziz, A., Dahiya, D. S., Nawras, M., Aziz, M., & Inamdar, S. (2023). History of colonoscopy and technological advances: a narrative review. Translational gastroenterology and hepatology, 8, 18. https://doi.org/10.21037/tgh-23-4.
  8. Kröner, P. T., Engels, M. M., Glicksberg, B. S., Johnson, K. W., Mzaik, O., van Hooft, J. E., Wallace, M. B., El-Serag, H. B., & Krittanawong, C. (2021). Artificial intelligence in gastroenterology: A state-of-the-art review. World journal of gastroenterology, 27(40), 6794–6824. https://doi.org/10.3748/wjg.v27.i40.6794.