Ann Conkle
Jan 10, 2012

Swallow a pill to let doctors see your insides

Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital have successfully tested a controllable endoscopic capsule that could someday swim through the body, photographing specific areas as directed. The capsule can be swallowed like a pill and equipped with a camera. Once inside a patient’s digestive track, a doctor can steer the capsule through the body using an MRI machine, photograph specific area and wirelessly view the pictures. Current endoscopic capsules tumble randomly through the digestive track and clinicians have no control over what they photograph, so being able to control the capsule is a major move forward. Researchers successfully tested a prototype capsule in an MRI machine and a tank of water. The next step is testing it inside the human body. The researchers believe there is no reason that it would function differently in the body than it does in water.