The "noisy guts project": Listening to bowel sounds may be an alternative to colonoscopy for IBS detection — 4 insights

Irritable bowel syndrome can be diagnosed using bowel sounds recorded by a noninvasive device, according to a study presented at Digestive Disease Week, July 2 to July 5 in Washington, D.C., and detailed in Medscape.

Here are four things to know:

1. IBS affects approximately 11 percent of people worldwide. Diagnosis typically involves colonoscopy to rule out cancer or other organic disease.

2. In the "noisy guts project," researchers developed a prototype belt that uses machine-learning techniques to identify sound patterns emanating from the abdomen.

3. The researchers used recordings from 31 IBS patients and 37 healthy participants to build an acoustic index model to differentiate IBS gut sounds from gut sounds unrelated to IBS.

4. Study author Barry Marshall, MBBS, of the University of Western Australia in Crawley suggests the device could eliminate the need for colonoscopy testing for IBS. If the U.S. reduced the number of colonoscopies by 10 percent, he claimed, billions of dollars would be saved.

More articles on gastroenterology:

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