Issue 1 June 2001
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Internal examination using tiny swallowed camera
By Michael Seaforth
Currently, the easiest way to obtain a picture of someoneís stomach or small intestines is to insert an endoscope attached to fibre optic cables through the personís mouth and extend it down to the area of interest. However, a much simpler procedure is undergoing clinical trials. Given® Imaging has developed a unique method of peering inside even the hard to reach areas of the small intestine that promises to be simple to implement and virtually painless.

The procedure requires the patient to swallow a tiny capsule that incorporates a light source, miniature color video camera, battery, antenna and radio transmitter. As the capsule moves through the body, it transmits a signal to tiny antennas attached to the patientí skin. The images are stored in a device attached to the patientís belt for examination later by a doctor on a medical workstation. The capsule is expelled naturally from the body in 24 to 48 hours. A picture of the capsule, courtesy of Given® Imaging, is shown above and more information is available at:

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