Camera in pill
Camera in pill detects signs of esophageal cancer
Atiny camera that fits inside a pill that can be swallowed to assess people for warning signs of esophageal cancer has been developed by University of Washington researchers. They say it's more comfortable and less expensive than current endoscopy methods. The camera in the pill is designed to take high-quality, color photos in confined spaces. Patients don't have to be sedated to swallow the pill, which is tethered to a 1.4 millimeter wide cord. Its first use to scan for signs of esophageal cancer in a human will be reported in an upcoming issue of the journal IEEE 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 professor of mechanical engineering, said. A condition called Barrett's esophagus, marked by changes in the lining of the esophagus, often precedes cancer. Detection of Barrett's esophagus can help prevent cancer. But the expense of screening means that many people aren't diagnosed until they have esophageal cancer, which has a survival rate of less than 15 percent, the report said.
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