Video pill could save cancer patients

A team of international researchers at Oslo’s University Hospital have invented a high-definition video camera which is swallowed like a pill so it can survey intestinal cancers.

The pill-camera is said to be superior to existing cameras which are either low definition, take too few pictures, or cannot reveal where in the intestine they are.

For the first time, footage from the hours-long passage through a potential cancer patient’s small intestine can be seen via wireless-transmitted video files.

The pill took eight hours to pass harmlessly and painlessly through a test pig’s digestive tract.

The research programme, however, is running out of funds and looks ripe for the intervention of a commercial partner. For now, the research hospital, engineers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), and the Norwegian defence establishment are working on making the camera smaller.

There is no detection tool for cancers of the small intestine and stomach. It is hoped the video pill will be ready in two to five years.

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