U.S. researchers are developing a new and more easily swallowed camera in a pill that offers more than a fly-by view. A tiny tether, 1.4 mm wide attached to the pill allows the doctor to move the camera up and down along the region of interest.
Its first use on a human to scan for early signs of esophageal cancer, is scheduled to be reported in an upcoming issue of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Transactions on Biomedical Engineering.
“Our technology is completely different from what’s available now. This could be the foundation for the future of endoscopy,” lead author Eric Seibel, a University of Washington said in a statement.
The tiny endoscope fits into a conventional pill casing. Once swallowed, electrical current causes the fiber to bounce back and forth so that its lone electronic eye sees the whole scene, one pixel at a time.
At the same time the fiber spins and its tip projects red, green and blue laser light. The image processing then combines all this information to create a two-dimensional color picture.