We have already talked about endoscopic pills here, here, here, and here. Now, a research funded by European Union has led to the invention of ‘robot’ that can be swallowed to look for cancer. The pill sized device will travel inside the body to check for tumors and will transmit the findings back to the computer. The gadget integrates a tiny video camera to capture around 40,000 images while traveling through the intestines. Researchers hope that the new invention will be able to save thousands of lives of patients caught with painful biopsies or surgery to investigate cancer. The invention is an upshot of inspiration from PillCam (we discussed earlier). When this new robot will travel inside the body, doctors watching the journey from a computer screen will also be able to ‘halt’ the robot and take a closer look at suspect tissue. Scientists are conducting experiments with special grippers that can be activated by an electrical signal outside the body, as well as using magnets to control the robot.
With significant development in medical diagnostics and imaging, we see a lot of new products coming to health care market. Anyone who has undergone the traditional Endoscopy would vouch about the difficulty he faced while swallowing the rigid or flexible cable. This also leads to the risk of infection, harming body organs and over-sedation, etc. The wireless capsule camera has been a savior in this regard. The cameras known by different names such as capsule camera, video pill, PillCam, EndoCapsule or Sayaka are look and size wise similar to a pill or capsule. These capsules are capable to see areas, which traditionally used endoscopes are unable to see. The capsule travels through the intestines after the patient swallows it. It’s true that it takes longer time to send images but it definitely sends better quality images. In this field, Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST)’s MiroCam has proved to be a success. The capsule designed and developed by KIST and IntroMedic, a medical venture firm in Korea. MiroCam has not only passed the European medical standards but also has been sent for US FDA’s approval. It has already been adopted in many hospitals in Korea since May 2007. This capsule is in demand from more than 20 countries, thanks to its pioneering technology and smaller shape. Korea is ready to start exporting, once it receives FDA Approval. The capsule camera is equivalent to the size of the tip of a bullet, i.e., 11 millimeters in diameter and 24 millimeters long. The institute also claims this to be the smallest capsule camera available in the market today. Quite contrary to the available capsule cameras, it doesn’t use radio transmitter (requiring a n antenna and pulsing signals), instead it uses the human body to its advantage and takes it as a conductor and sends images to a device that the patient can wear. This technology also ensures, it has a longer battery life. It can send 3 frames per second of 102,400 pixels, running for over 11 hours. Thanks to such cutting-edge technology, painful procedures like endoscopy will not be a terror anymore. Source: Koreatimes Image source: Yonhapnews