Remote-Controlled Video Capsule Revolutionizes Endoscopy

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The GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences has significantly improved the technology of ingestible video capsule endoscopes by making it possible to remotely operate these uncontrolled capsules, which previously could only move in response to gravity and the digestive system. 

This new technology lets doctors precisely trace the digestive tract and image any issues. The NaviCam technology uses an external magnet and joysticks similar to those seen in video games to move around, Engadget reported.

The remote-controlled capsule offers a viable substitute for conventional endoscopic treatments, which may be time-consuming, expensive, and intrusive due to the need for anesthesia. Software is being developed that will utilize artificial intelligence to self-drive the video capsule to all stomach sections and record any dangerous irregularities. That would make the system simpler to diagnose and screen. 

Andrew Meltzer, a professor of emergency medicine at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences, believes that magnetically controlled capsules have the potential to be a swift and practical method to check for stomach cancer or ulcers in the upper gastrointestinal tract.

100 Percent Safe

The research's findings have been encouraging, even though it is still in the testing stage. The camera-equipped capsule can spot several ailments, such as bleeding, inflammation, and blemishes. 

Additionally, it can send films and photographs automatically for later evaluation. Although utilizing a camera capsule prevents biopsies since it degrades the body, official research reveals that doing so has no health hazards.

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Meltzer and his colleagues performed a study involving 40 patients to assess the efficacy of magnetically controlled capsule endoscopy. With a visibility rate of 95%, they could correctly direct the capsule to all significant stomach regions. An ER doctor administered the pills, and a gastroenterologist who was not there physically evaluated the research findings.

The novel approach demonstrated equivalent effectiveness to conventional endoscopy, missing no high-risk lesions. Surprisingly, 80% of the patients preferred the capsule approach to the standard technique, according to Science Daily.

A Promising Technology But More Trials Needed

Though, Meltzer stresses that this research is only a pilot and that a more extensive trial involving more patients must confirm the method's accuracy in identifying significant lesions and displacing endoscopy. Among its drawbacks is the inability to take biopsies of lesions found with the capsule.

The research, "Magnetically Controlled Capsule for Assessment of the Gastric Mucosa in Symptomatic Patients (MAGNET): A Prospective, Single-Arm, Single-Center, Comparative Study," was released in iGIE, the open-access online publication of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. AnX Robotica, the medical technology business that created the capsule endoscopy device, NaviCam, provided funding for the study.

Over 7 million conventional endoscopies are carried out annually in the United States to examine and treat a variety of symptoms and illnesses in the stomach and upper portion of the intestine, such as cancer, according to Tech Explorist.

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