In the wake of US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) giving a nod to PillCam Colon, an ingestible pill camera will help patients in diagnosing colon polyps and cancer without any pain and problem.
The device, manufactured by Given Imaging Ltd. of Israel, is a boon for patients for whom conventional colonoscopies cannot be carried out for various reasons. It is estimated that 7,50,000 patients in the US are not in a position to complete the procedure each year for reasons, ranging from anatomy issues to previous surgery to various colon diseases.
The device that is in the form of a small capsule (12 mm x 33 mm) and can be swallowed consists of battery-powered miniature colour video cameras to take shots of the intestinal tract. The cameras can take photos for up to 10 hours. These photos are sent to a recording device tied around the patient's waist. This data is then fed to a computer which helps in further analysis.
"We have made tremendous strides in increasing the number of people who are getting screened for colon cancer, starting at age 50 for the average risk individual. Colonoscopy is the most comprehensive option, but for up to 10% of individuals, achieving a complete colonoscopy may not be possible. For those individuals, PillCam Colon capsule endoscopy could be an effective option to allow their gastroenterologist to complete a colon examination," said Eric Hargis, CEO, Colon Cancer Alliance.
At present, PillCam Colon is available in over 80 countries, including Latin America, Canada, Australia, Japan, Europe and parts of Asia and Africa.