Ingestible pill cams now controlled by MRI (read on an empty stomach)

There's really no easy way to talk about a camera that you swallow and swims through your colon, so we'll just forge ahead. All mental discomfort aside, this next generation capsule camera is pretty cool — it has a tiny motor that is guided wirelessly by an MRI that allows doctors to steer it for maximum precision.

The little cam works by receiving magnetic instructions from the MRI that steers a rudder like motor. Because it is wireless it eliminates the need for a more invasive tether guidance system (thank you!).

While pill cameras — known as capsule endoscopes — have been around for some time now, this version created by researchers at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) will dramatically improve on what the doctors can observe. The patient swallows it and forgets about it while the doctors guide it directly to specific areas and capture real time images.

Pill cameras are used to discovery and document such things as Crohn's Disease and colon cancer where early detection and treatment is critical, but scientists have high hopes the wireless pill cam will eventually do more. Noby Hata, a researcher in the Department of Radiology at BWH and leader of the development team for the endoscopic capsule, notes: "Ideally, in the future we would be able to utilize this technology deliver drugs or other treatments, such as laser surgery, directly to tumors or injuries within the digestive track."

It hasn't been tested yet in the human body, but it has been tested in water so human trials shouldn't be far behind.

So while the laser surgery capability might still be a few years away, there is one thing that won't change. The gross out factor of looking at your own colon. We know you are out there — you actually want to see some pulsating inner body stuff. So,enjoy a video shot with an old school capsule endoscope and hang on to your lunch…

Via Huffington Post

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