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

North Korea Is Not Pleased: Dance Video Features Kim Jong Un

Citing a threat to the leader’s dignity, North Korea reportedly asks China to block a video that inserts Kim Jong Un’s image into bizarre situations, all set to a bouncy dance track.


Hospital Settles Lawsuit By Thousands Of Women Over Exam Photos

The Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins Health System will pay $190 million to settle a class-action lawsuit that includes more than 7,000 women.


Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin votes for a U.N. Security Council draft resolution demanding full access for investigators at the Malaysia Airlines crash site in eastern Ukraine.

Flight MH17: Black Boxes And Bodies Handed Over; U.N. Calls For Inquiry

In a late-night exchange, pro-Russian separatists have given what they say are Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17′s data recorders to Malaysian officials in eastern Ukraine.


Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s Friend Convicted For Impeding Bombing Inquiry

Azamat Tazhayakov has been found guilty on some obstruction of justice charges, and not guilty of others. He was accused of removing evidence from Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s dorm room.


Sgt. Ryan Pitts waits for a flight at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan.

Veteran Who Held Off Taliban Attack On His Own Receives Medal Of Honor

Army Sgt. Ryan Pitts is credited with holding off a brutal Taliban attack back in 2008. He was the only one left alive at an observation post in Afghanistan, and continued to attack despite injuries.


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