A miniature camera the size of a capsule that is swallowed and that then transmits images of the inside of the gut can reveal cancer and gastrointestinal diseases. The device, which will be studied in a trial conducted by the National Health Service (NHS) in England, is used by patients at home instead of having to visit a clinic for an endoscopy.
“These minute cameras pass through your body, they take two pictures per second checking for signs of cancer and other conditions like Crohn’s disease,” commented Sir Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England.
The trial, announced on March 11, will initially involve 11,000 patients from 40 regions in England. Participants will be sent the colon capsule endoscopy to use at home.
The capsule typically takes 5 to 8 hours to pass through the digestive system. As the capsule passes through the bowel, images are sent to a data recorder in a shoulder bag.