Breakthrough Alternative to Invasive Colonoscopies

What's Going On

CBy: Dr. Samori Swygert

A technological company in Israel has gained FDA approval in the use of a high resolution mini-camera in the performance of colonoscopies. Colonoscopies are typically recommended for adults once they reach middle age (around 50 years old). Many patients have an aversion or a little trepidation to the invasive nature of a colonoscopy. The procedure requires individuals to first clear their gastrointestinal tract with fluids that promote bowel evacuation the day before the procedure. This guarantees a clear visual field for the gastroenterologist.

The patient is typically laying on their side, and the doctor inserts tubing that has a small camera at the end. The camera is able to detect colon polyps and other gastrointestinal abnormalities in the GI tract. There are risks with this procedure because the doctor can accidentally rupture a polyp.

The technological innovation

The company developed a battery powered microcamera that takes multiple internal pictures of the colon as it travels, and it’s in the form of a pill! The pictures are transmitted to an external device via wireless capabilities. This reduces the physical anal penetration of the traditional camera scope, and thus reduces the risk of polyp or intestinal rupture. This also gives patients their privacy and a little more freedom.

There are also financial benefits. The traditional cost of a colonoscopy is ~$4,500 and the pill is $500. This is a cost savvy innovation that helps in these rough economic times. This also will allow more procedures to be conducted per day as compared to the manual procedure. The technology was reportedly adopted from Israel’s missile defense system.

I like to see the transition of war strategies used to save lives. This is the link to the original article for more details : http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/fda-approves-pill-camera-screen-colon-22346906

What are your thoughts on this breakthrough time saving, costs saving innovation?

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