Nation & World News

The View From Down There: FDA Approves Pill Cam For Colon Exams

By Bill Chappell on February 4th, 2014

Patients who undergo colon screenings might breathe a little easier now that U.S. regulators have approved a pill containing two cameras. The PillCam Colon is minimally invasive and runs on batteries, its maker says. And as you might imagine, it’s disposable.

The PillCam is made by Given Imaging, which posted a YouTube video of the device’s intestinal trip, titled “Journey of the Colon.” That could be because titles such as Fantastic Voyage (1966) and Innerspace (1987) were already taken.

Despite its similarities to science fiction, the capsule costs $500 — a fraction of the several thousands patients pay for a colonoscopy, according to the AP.

As NPR’s Louise Schiavone reports for our Newscast unit, the pill cam “would be used initially by patients who cannot withstand a colonoscopy.” More from Louise:

“The Food and Drug Administration has given the green light to a product called PillCam Colon. It’s a very small, battery-powered camera in the shell of a pill and would take the place of a colonoscopy.

“A patient using this method of screening for early signs of colon cancer would swallow the pill. It would then take high-speed photos of the intestinal tract over the course of eight hours.

“A recording device worn around the patient’s waist captures images transmitted by the tiny pill moving through the intestine. The cost of the pill is significantly lower than a traditional exam.”

We’re not sure if this option would be available on the colon model, but other pill cams from Given Imaging offer the ability to see the capsule’s trip in real time.

More details from the company, which has its headquarters in Israel:

“The PillCam COLON video capsule is equipped with two miniature color video cameras (one on each end), a battery and an LED light source; it measures 12 mm X 33 mm. PillCam COLON is designed to be ingested by the patient and transmits 4 or 35 frames per second for approximately 10 hours.”

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This entry was posted in News from NPR. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

 

More Stories in News from NPR

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, left, with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen.  Martin Dempsey during a Pentagon briefing on Thursday. Hagel said Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria posed a threat "beyond anything we've seen."

ISIS ‘Beyond Anything We’ve Seen,’ Hagel Says

The secretary of defense says the extremists are well funded and organized and that he expects them to “regroup and stage an offensive” despite U.S. airstrikes.


U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro accepted the ALS "Ice Bucket Challenge." Soon after, the State Department warned that participation by high-profile diplomats was a violation of internal policy.

U.S. Diplomatic Cable Puts Chill On ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

The State Department lauded the fundraising phenomenon, but said the participation of high-profile diplomats, such as ambassadors, violates internal policy.


Thailand's newly appointed Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha gestures in a traditional greeting during his to a unit of the Queen's Guard outside of Bangkok on Thursday.

Thailand’s Parliament Hands Prime Minister Post To Coup Leader

Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, who led a May putsch against the country’s democratically elected government, was approved unanimously by a hand-picked legislature.


U.S. Won’t Rule Out Attack In Syria To Hit Islamic State

American aircraft have carried out more strikes against the Islamic State, after the extremist group beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley. The attacks come despite threats to kill other hostages.


New York Times correspondent Matthew Rosenberg stands at his desk at the paper's office in Kabul on Wednesday. Afghanistan gave Rosenberg 24 hours to leave the country.

Afghanistan Expels ‘Times’ Reporter Over Article About Potential Coup

New York Times correspondent Matthew Rosenberg was forced to leave Afghanistan after officials called one of his recent stories a threat to national security.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments