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Evidence to Improve Care

Colon Capsule Endoscopy for the Detection of Colorectal Polyps

Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee Recommendations

  • The Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee recommends against the public funding of colon capsule endoscopy.

Read the full OHTAC Recommendation

Cancer in the colon or rectum, otherwise known as colorectal cancer, is one of the leading causes of death in Ontario. Many cases of colorectal cancer can be prevented through early diagnosis and the removal of polyps, or growths, which may develop into cancer.

A colonoscopy is an examination of the lining of the rectum and the colon using a long flexible tube with a camera on the end. Colonoscopy is the standard procedure for detecting colorectal polyps.

Patients who cannot have a colonoscopy or have had an incomplete (unfinished) colonoscopy may be offered an examination through imaging technology, such as computed tomographic (CT) colonography. An incomplete colonoscopy can occur if the patient is too uncomfortable or there is a problem passing the tube through the colon.

Health Quality Ontario Reviews Colon Capsule Endoscopy

Colon capsule endoscopy is a relatively new, non-invasive test to detect colorectal polyps and help with early detection of colorectal cancer. Patients swallow a capsule outfitted with a tiny camera, which takes images of the colon as it passes through the patient’s digestive system.

Colon Capsule Endoscopy for the Detection of Colorectal Polyps: An Evidence-Based Analysis (PDF)
July 2015

Colon Capsule Endoscopy for the Detection of Colorectal Polyps: An Economic Analysis (PDF)
July 2015 

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The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has accepted this recommendation.

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has provided the following response: The Ministry has no current plans to fund this procedure.

Health Technology Assessment at Health Quality Ontario

As part of our core function to promote health care supported by the best available evidence, we use established scientific methods to analyze the evidence for a wide range of health interventions, including diagnostic tests, medical devices, interventional and surgical procedures, health care programs and models of care. These analyses are informed by input from a range of individuals, including patients and clinical experts. The Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee — a committee of the Health Quality Ontario board of directors — reviews the evidence and makes recommendations about whether health care interventions should be publicly funded or not. Draft recommendations are posted on the Health Quality Ontario website for feedback. Final recommendations are approved by our board of directors and then shared with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. For more detailed information, visit our Evidence to Improve Care pages.


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