Researchers have developed a capsule endoscope with a pill-shaped camera that can be controlled remotely. This was reported by the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences (USA), writes Engadget.
The video capsule is called NaviCam. The new technology allows doctors to literally move a small device around a patient’s digestive system to visualize and photograph potentially problematic areas. An external magnet and video game-style joysticks are used for movement.
“A traditional endoscopy is an invasive procedure for patients, not to mention it is costly due to the need for anesthesia and time off work,” said Andrew Meltzer, a professor of Emergency Medicine at the GW School of Medicine & Health Sciences, in GW’s press release. “Magnetically controlled capsules could be used as a quick and easy way to screen for health problems in the upper GI tract such as ulcers or stomach cancer.”
The technology is still in the testing phase, although the results are already positive. Meltzer and his colleagues at the medical company AnX Robotica conducted a study with 40 people and found that doctors could accurately control the capsule in all major parts of the stomach with a 95% success rate of visualization. These patients also underwent conventional endoscopy to confirm that the camera did not miss any high-risk lesions.
The potential benefits for patients are varied, as the camera is designed to detect bleeding, inflammation and damage. It can also automatically transmit video and images outside the hospital for further study.
As you know, capsule endoscopy is a method of endoscopic imaging. It was first introduced in 2000 and applied in 2001.