Researchers in japan have developed a remotely controlled miniature camera that can be used for endoscopy.
It looks a bit like a tadpole. It appears very similar to the “capsule endoscopy” cameras that came on the scene several years ago. With those, you basically swallowed a camera that was encased in a clear pill shaped container. This thing passively moved along your gastrointestinal tract snapping pictures until you pooped it out.
With this new gizmo from Japan, it’s not a passive journey. It has a little mechanical tail sticking out of it with which a doctor using a joystick can control it and basically pilot it through your GI tract.
It can apparently be inserted from either end….i.e. via your mouth or your “other end”.
According to this article, it was originally tested on dogs and is now ready for us.
Some potential advantages I see are the ability to get pictures within places not really reachable with current endoscopes…i.e. the small intestine, and also, I would imagine this procedure would likely need less anesthesia/sedation perhaps.
The potential negatives I see are 1. This thing getting stuck somewhere and requiring surgery to remove and 2. This thing causing a perforation, illeus or intususception.
Still, overall it looks like a pretty cool device to me.