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What Is a Pill Camera?

A camera pill is a minute camera in the shape of a pill that can be easily swallowed by a person. A larger more expensive, but unterthered pill cam was developed by an Israel company in 2000 and received FDA approval in September 2007. It is an imaging device for the detection of gastrointestinal diseases and has been hailed as a major break through in medical technology. The medical term is called Capsule Endoscopy. Once swallowed, the camera transmits photos to a receiver to later be reviewed by a doctor.

Pill Camera
Pill cam

About cam
The camera is only 18mm long and 6.35mm in diameter. The pill cam, is used to avoid traditional standard endoscopy. Endoscopy is a diagnostic medical procedure that is used to access the interior surface of an organ by inserting a long tube into the body. It is mainly used to detect esophagul cancer and other diseases related to stomach. Endoscopy is a painful procedure and patient requires sedation. Using pill cam physicians can detect the disease without any painful procedure like endoscopy.

How To Use A Camera Pill?

When a person is going to take the pill camera test ,he has to fast 10 hours before going to the doctor early in the morning. At the moment, the doctor activates the camera and gives it to the patient who swallows it with a glass of water and, then gives them a receiver to attach to their belt. They are only allowed to drink water for 2-4 hours after they take the pill. Then return the wireless receiver to the doctor and the camera is disposable from the body.

How it works?
Inner structure of a Pill cam

The pill camera consists of 8 parts:

Permanent magnet. Electro magnet. White LEDs. Fluorescent LEDs. Inner capsule. Outer capsule. Image sensor. CPU.

Sayaka endoscope capsule

Sayaka Endoscope Capsule Working

The Sayaka Endoscope Capsule is the newest and best design. It features a camera on the side of the capsule to produce better images of the intestinal wall and rotates every 12 seconds. Every second it takes 30 2-megapixel pictures and takes a total of 870,000 pictures. Also, it is powered externally by a magnetic vest the patient wears and powers the camera through induction charging with this magnetic field making it 40% smaller than traditional camera pills. The magnetic field produced by the vest also causes the camera to rotate as it changes its own polarity in a internal electro magnet. The vest also stores the images in a SD card that the doctor plugs into a computer. The Doctor then uses software and creates a 3-D of the patients intestinal track that can be as large as 1,175 mega pixels and the image can be magnified 75 times for detailed looks.

PC based work station is pre-installed with RAPID software. It offers physicians a user-friendly for viewing and interpreting images captured by a pill cam. A data recorder is used here which is a small portable recording device that receives signals via a sensor array that are transmitted by a pill cam as it passes through the GI tract. This data recorder is attached to the belt worn by the patient. In January 2006 the company launched most advanced data recorder with added storage capacity.

A pill camera can be easily swallowed. It provides doctors more detailed images and the entire digestive track not visible by other techniques and records 870,000 images. Harmless to the patient and easier than a endoscopy and it include the avoidance of standard endoscopy . The patient can continue their everyday life once he/she has successfully swallowed the pill cam and no sedation is necessary for Capsule Endoscopy. doctors can steer the images of the internal body as they wish. doctors can reexamine the images again and again.

Disadvantages .
Pill camera is very expensive. Sometimes the camera could get stuck in the patients small intestine but this usually means that there is something wrong in the intestines and it requires surgery to remove the camera and fix the problem. doctors have no control over its path .It only allow a single fly-by view. it cannot be reused because it completes its voyage through the digestive system. Due to its small size, the camera can capture an image of only about 70 percent of the digestive tract.

Future Innovations
Scientists hope a future version of the camera pill will repair gut problems as well as spot them!

The scientific community at the University of Washington is currently developing a pill-sized camera which would travel through the body looking for signs of disease.

The researchers are negotiating a contract to commercialise the technology. They hope to not only take pictures, but also deliver treatments through the device in future.

In future the next big challenge is to make this cheaply.

In the future it hope to not only take pictures, but also deliver treatments through the device, and to apply it to other diseases.