Health Information Management

New camera-in-a-pill could ease pain of endoscopies

APCs Insider, July 28, 2005

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A new pill could change the approach doctors take to performing endoscopies and make their patients' experience a little more comfortable.

The pill, called Pill Cam ESO, has two cameras mounted inside of it. Patients swallow the vitamin-sized pill and the cameras inside take pictures as they slide down the esophagus looking for indications of acid-reflux conditions, according to the Associated Press (AP).

Traditional endoscopies involve sedation and the forcing of a flexible tube down the throat, usually leading to a few days of irritation and discomfort.

The pill, designed by Given Imaging based in Israel, was used for the first time on Monday, according to the AP. The pill slid down the patient's esophagus in less than five minutes, and it took 15 more minutes to ensure a computer captured the 2,600 images taken by the cameras.

If the images show something that requires more attention, a traditional endoscopy will be necessary to extract tissue for analysis.

Pill Cam ESO was approved for use in November by the Food and Drug Administration.

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