Swallowable Pill-Sized Camera Could Replace Traditional Colonoscopy

PillCam COLON passes through the digestive system and transmits images of the patient’s intestines for the doctor’s review.

The FDA has recently approved a product that should improve the less-than-pleasant traditional colonoscopy experience. Reminiscent of a certain Magic School Bus story, the PillCam COLON is a pill-sized camera that snaps images of the patient’s insides as it winds its way through the intestinal track. Developed by Israeli medical solutions company Given Imaging, the product has been approved to supplement traditional colonoscopies when an incomplete test is run due to patient discomfort. For those patients, the pill camera will provide an alternative non-invasive method for scanning the lower intestines.

The indigestible gadget travels slowly through the body over approximately eight hours, transmitting images wirelessly to a device worn on the patient’s waist for the doctor to later review and screen for precancerous masses. While currently positioned as a supplement to the standard colonoscopy procedure rather than a direct substitute, as the technology and quality of the images improves it could become more widely used. The tool has previously been approved in eighty other countries.

Source: Associated Press

Images: Associated Press/Given Imaging

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