Camera pill

A revolutionary camera capsule that allows doctors to diagnose bowel problems more effectively is being made available to patients in Wales for the first time. [...] Capsule endoscopy lets doctors see clear images from inside the small bowel via a tiny camera contained in a tablet no bigger than a vitamin pill. [...]

Consultant Nimal Balaratman said the camera allowed them to explore bowel problems in new depth. "The whole area used to be a sort of black box for gastroentologists," he said. "Although we could investigate it using X-rays, we could never visualise it like one can see a video."

The patient swallows the £320 capsule, which has a colour camera and miniscule lights even though it measures only 11mm by 26mm. Pictures are then beamed twice a second to a small receiver worn by the patient via radio waves. About 40,000 images are taken in the six to eight hours the capsule takes to work its way through the digestive system. During this time, the patient is free to do whatever they like.


17 Responses:

  1. cetan says:

    I wonder how well it would fair under a constant load of good (or bad?) mexican food?

    "Well sir, we didn't get all the pictures we wanted, it seems the camera left your system rather quickly..."

  2. tritone says:

    Now taking bets as to how quickly these pills will become the next internet voyeur porn site phenomenon.


  3. icis_machine says:

    i remember when this technology was first discussed a few years back. it still doesn't seem to have wide distribution. although i am hoping in my future endoscopies that i can capture the video and make my own dvd of the experience on my imac.

    • That is not "no bigger than a vitamin pill" unless we're talking about a horse pill. If you can't visualize 11mm by 26mm units(1) can help (it's about half an inch wide by about an inch long). If that fails, look at the picture. It's as wide as that person's thumb and as long as his thumbnail!
    • I assume the doctor will be wanting their £320 camerapill back. I assume that that means either shitting only in a controlled, hospital environment or digging through your own excrement to recover the thing (and then transporting it back to the doctor somehow). "EWWW GROSS!"
    • That said, this sure beats the hell out of having a long tube rammed up your anus in an especially UNsexual way. Not that I'm personally particularly hot on having long tubes rammed up my anus in a sexual way, but hey, even if you are, I'm thinking you're not too keen on the endoscopy thing.
    • ladypine says:

      Actually, you are not required to give it back, at least in Israel. I guess this is why it is so expensive to do the test this way. But the first people who experimented this were required to produce it back indeed, to avoid information leakage on the technology.

      And the size is really not that bad- it is really the size of a big pill. Definately swallowable.

    • unabomber says:

      I had to have a colonoscopy about six years ago, and while I wouldn't recommend it as a regular activity, it was nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be. You're knocked out with some pretty primo drugs during the whole procedure, so it's not like you're aware of the probing. The worst part of the whole thing was the fasting and laxatives during the day before the test.


  4. marklyon says:

    I can hear it now:

    What in the world?

    What the hell is that?

    What's that thing that keeps sliding into the field of view?

    Wait one fucking second. AAH! It's an anal invader!

  5. rxrfrx says:


    "mouth to ass?"