Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Pill Helps Doctors See Digestive Tract

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the spycam dept.

Science 44

Bush_man10 writes "RedNova is reporting about a pill loaded with technology similar to a digital camera that allows doctors to view more than 50,000 still images captured as it makes the trip through your small intestine. This is a much better alternative than the old fashioned camera on snaking tubes to check for intestinal troubles. All the images are collected wirelessly through a belt you wear while the pill completes it's fantastic voyage."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

I can't wait to see.... (1)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 10 years ago | (#7614914)

... THOSE webcams.

Re:I can't wait to see.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7614937)

Wait [] no more!!

Re:I can't wait to see.... (2, Funny)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 10 years ago | (#7614955)

Dude, you could send an entire camera crew + generator onna cart in there. Wide format film cameras and everything.

fat fent needs the diet pills, that why its on /. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7614924)

im sure rob and the editing crew and any "females" they have to "have sex with" are very, very interested in diet pills.

dont you editors feel bad you do nothing journalistic and only copy content from other and all you do in life i be fat?

Two questions (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7614928)

1. Does it run linux?

2. Could you use it to explore Uranus?

P.S. This is really old news.

Re:Two questions (1)

njchick (611256) | more than 10 years ago | (#7615078)

You forgot:

3. Does it play ogg?

This is one addictive post! (2, Funny)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 10 years ago | (#7614941)

So glad it's wireless. A few years ago they tried this with USB and Firewire -- neither of those projects got funded past the first 10,000 trial runs! (In a manner of speaking...)

Now.... (-1)

Coulter, Ann (720298) | more than 10 years ago | (#7614945)

I'll sit back and watch as the stupid liberal rights people on here flame each other over the privacy of their internal organs. They will really believe that doctors will get you to take pills so the digital cameras inside them can submit data about you (your insides, what you eat, listen to your conversations, etc...) and beem that information to headquarters so they can find out if the pill is inside a liberal traitor or a terrorist. This is a great victory for the government on cracking down on dissent!

Re:Now.... (-1, Flamebait)

Uma Thurman (623807) | more than 10 years ago | (#7615236)

Jesus you're a huge cunt, aren't you.

i would prefer the snake (3, Insightful)

paulydavis (91113) | more than 10 years ago | (#7615000)

I would have the old preceedure. What if the camera missed something. With video and a doctor I think you would have a better chance. Though 50 thousand pics is alot. Im not a doctor but maybe 50,000 is enough to look for what ever there looking for. Still better safe than sorry.

Re:i would prefer the snake (1)

torpor (458) | more than 10 years ago | (#7616761)

What if the doctor misses something? What if?

To be truly safe, you should have *both* procedures.

Hell, why not have the pillcam embedded in your system permanently, so you can watch it yourself on a daily, consistent, obsessive-compulsive, regular basis.

Re:i would prefer the snake (1)

More Karma Than God (643953) | more than 10 years ago | (#7624339)

Get two pillcams and keep one in a recharge cradle whilst the other is running through your "maze".

Re:i would prefer the snake (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7633031)

You've been talking to my husband, haven't you?

"complete" its voyage? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7615005)

I would prefer to not see the pill "complete" its "fantastic" voyage.


All I asked for is... (2, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 10 years ago | (#7615008)

...gerbils with cameras on their heads.

Re:All I asked for is... (1)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 10 years ago | (#7615229)

Is that like sharks with frikkin' laser beams?

Re:All I asked for is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7621349)


Re:All I asked for is... (1)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620311)

> ...gerbils with cameras on their heads.

While we're at it, can we call this new pill "Skniwimmel"?

Really old news. (2, Informative)

Fritzed (634646) | more than 10 years ago | (#7615086)

I just have to say that this has to be the oldest story I've seen on slashdot. It has to have been at least 2 years since I read this in Popular Science. Back on subject, it is a nice design, two button batteries and a tiny camera. I do have to wonder, what type of quality the camera gives, I have yet to see any actual pictures from it. -> Fritz

Yes it is really old news. (1)

quinkin (601839) | more than 10 years ago | (#7615754)

I saw some pictures on the Australian ABC science program Quantum (from hazy memory) a few years ago - the pictures were of a quality comparable with an average endoscope (considering the age and analog nature of the "average" scope this is not too surprising).

The effect of pre-set stills vs. live adjustable video was still a problem but it was believed to be useful in augmenting and complementing the current techniques.


Great idea, one major disadvantage... (4, Interesting)

HaloZero (610207) | more than 10 years ago | (#7615182)

My Grandfather had this done.

He had colon cancer. A rather massive, record-setting tumor (for our state) had lodged itself in his intestines. He took the pill, wore the belt, etc. It worked great, and the images from the camera weren't of espicially great quality, but they got the job done.

The downside to this was that the cancer was at the very end of his intestinal tract, and it took the physicians so long to go through all of the images, before they got to the ones they needed and determined that he needed immediate, emergency surgery. This was three weeks after he passed the camera.

Thankfully, they got to it in time, but still, just in time. It saved his life, in the end, I think, but it came a little too close for my (and his, I'm sure) comfort.

By the way, he's doing fine, now. Healthier than I've ever seen him before.

Re:Great idea, one major disadvantage... (2, Insightful)

quinkin (601839) | more than 10 years ago | (#7615778)

Hrmmm, I had pondered this exact issue at the point that I first saw this technology.

I think without developments in computer based image anomaly detection this will continue to be an enormous problem in terms of manpower and time; and even then there will be problems (computers suck at being intelligent).

Glad your gramps came though - mine didn't. :(


New ideas require new protocols (1)

Embedded Geek (532893) | more than 10 years ago | (#7619562)

Apologies for stating the obvious, but you bring up a very good point: Simply because the pictures were taken in a linear order, there's no need for them to be analyzed in the same order (especially when there's so many to be analyzed). Since it's a new technology, likely no one's written up a protocol/procedure/whatever on how to analyze the images. One would hope your grandfather's doctors will soon publish a paper or simply give feedback to the camera's manufacturer that users should do something akin to a binary search: Run a first check over every tenth (or hundredth or whatever) image and then check the images in between.

Actually, you should make a point of going to your grandfather's doctors and (after thanking them with a bottle of good scotch) pester them to give exactly that feedback to the manufacturer. A letter to the manufacturer's CEO would also be a good idea. I'm sure the people who make the device would be glad to hear your story.

Next big story: 1 Terapixel Intestinal Pictures! (3, Funny)

stienman (51024) | more than 10 years ago | (#7615535)

tapewyrm writes "I took the 50,000 images my doctor made of my intestinal tract (by hacking into the receiver belt - see the details here [] ) and made them into a panarama view! I think it's the largest digital image made of anyone's digestive tract. I also made it into a 3d shooter, and am looking to sell the rights to my guts. Any takers?" This one $#$@ load of pixels, but is there really a market for such an intimate portrait? We've already got goatse...


one question.. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7615537)

do they re-use the camera??

Re:one question.. (2, Funny)

Muhammar (659468) | more than 10 years ago | (#7615737)

The camera probe costs as much as a new BMW. But they put a wintergreen flavor on it.

How about an active, powered probe - a suppository working its way up, getting spat out nice & clean? Could be much faster (hey, stop playing with that remote).

CT colonography (aka "virtual colonoscopy") (4, Informative)

VersedM (323660) | more than 10 years ago | (#7615629)

A different minimally invasive test that is likely to have a larger impact on colon cancer screening in developed countries is described in the latest New England Journal of Medicine []

The technique is known as CT colonography and consists of aquiring several hundred CT slices of the abdomen/pelvis then using software to reconstruct the lumen of the colon and fly through it virtual-reality style looking for cancer. The linked study reports that CT colonography in experienced hands is as good as the "gold standard" of colonoscopy, a finding that (if validated in other studies) could mean that hundreds of thousands of people might be able to avoid the scope and get a less invasive CT scan to screen for cancer.

And yet (1)

dtfinch (661405) | more than 10 years ago | (#7615674)

So many proctologists prefer the old fashioned way. And don't forget, that's the same camera they shove down peoples' throats to do upper endoscopies.

And the acronym... (3, Funny)

TrebleJunkie (208060) | more than 10 years ago | (#7615727)

Yes, you probably already guessed that "M2A" *does* mean "Mouth-to-ass".


[Not that this capsule is new. One local health system had this device over a year ago.]

Yea Technology! (2, Informative)

Bowling Moses (591924) | more than 10 years ago | (#7615825)

This is so much less nasty than the old way--a number of years ago I had to get my upper GI (mouth to small intestine) checked out and had a more old-fashioned proceedure done. That is, the camera was on a cable about as big around as standard coax cable. The cable was coated with novocane and shoved up my left nostril and down my throat, through the stomach and into the small intestine, about 25 feet worth in all. It was an especially unpleasant experience, but at least the cable didn't have to go the other way...

It also involved choking down about two quarts of a barium sulfate "milkshake," which was extremely dense. After the proceedure was over I was initially confused why the doctor asked how long it would take for me to get home from the hospital. It was much clearer to me why when I got home and made a dash for the can. Extremely dense, that milkshake was!

Re:Yea Technology! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7621773)

I had the snake, but I was given full anesthesia, so I slept through it. I'm fairly sure it was via my mouth, not nose though.

I also did the barium milkshake for a CT scan. Fortunately (?), I vomitted immediately afterwards.

I also drank some other stuff. The name escapes me, but it was very greasy oily, stuff. Gave me the worst shits i've ever had.

Not new(s)... (1)

complete loony (663508) | more than 10 years ago | (#7616017)

I saw this on TV in Australia at least 6 months ago, but probably a lot longer.
Old new is good news.

Where can I get one? (1)

TwistedGreen (80055) | more than 10 years ago | (#7616155)

I'd be interested to get one of these for myself. Though I'd hate to have to get it back afterwards...

screenshots (2, Funny)

Funky Jester (24420) | more than 10 years ago | (#7616523)

dude! here's a screenshot:

[insert goats.ex link here]

(I just can't do it; I just can't bring myself to put up the link :P)

Next, on /. (1, Troll)

Molina the Bofh (99621) | more than 10 years ago | (#7617219)

Radiation Helps Doctors See Through the Body

Technology/IT [] |Posted by michael on 09:45 PM December 3rd, 2003
from the radiation dept.

Clinton man10 [] writes "RedNova [] is reporting [] about a new kind of radiation that can pass through some parts of the body, like skin and organs, and be absorbed by other harder structures. Using a sofisticated receiver on the other end, the doctor can take a picture of your inner body. Doctors are using it to detect broken bones. This is a much better alternative than the old fashioned method of pressing the bone to see if the patient cries. They are going to name this fantastic radiation as X-rays."

Imagine.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7617370)

Bootleged movies made easy!

half asleep (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7617567)

Apparently, when you're half asleep, you read the title as "Phil Helps Doctors See Digestive Tract" and you say to yourself "Way to go, Phil!"

Re:half asleep (0)

JasdonLe (680479) | more than 10 years ago | (#7625295)

Heh, yeah I did the exact same thing. And for some reason that baffles me, I thought it was refering to "Dr. Phil".

Image recognition (1)

Embedded Geek (532893) | more than 10 years ago | (#7619659)

Another poster [] brought up the issue that this technique generates enormous amounts of images that need to be examined by the doctor. To me this seems to be an ideal use for a pattern recognition utility. While it would be too much to ask software to diagnose a tumor on its own, something that flagged images where an anomoly of the correct color appears in the same place for several frames (so as to distinguish for a piece of partially digested food) might be useful in helping a specialist sieve through the backlog of images.

Just my $0.02.

Alternate image sensors (1)

Embedded Geek (532893) | more than 10 years ago | (#7619737)

The article states that the device uses "technology similar to a digital camera." To me this implies a visible spectrum sensor. I was wondering if tumor tissue might stand out with more contrast in other regions of the spectrum, such as ultraviolet (I assume the body would generate too much heat to make infrared useful). If so, added sensors might be of value. Unlikely that those tissues would behave that much differently in another region of the spectrum, but it's still something I'm curious about (just in case there's any oncologists reading this thread).

Current version can be controlled (1)

theslashdude (656154) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620363)

This is really old news. The current version which I saw recently on TV can be controlled by the doctor and provide real-time video. That way if it goes by something that the doctor would like to take a closer look at, he can back it up. It does this with two small electrodes, one on the front and one on the back. When it wants to move backwards, it produces a small eletrical current on the front electrode causing the muscles in that are to contract and thus pushing the pill backwards! Wonder what that feels like :)

Yeah, but the View Stinks (1)

notcreative (623238) | more than 10 years ago | (#7623035)

I bet they were really crappy pictures.

Re:Yeah, but the View Stinks (1)

More Karma Than God (643953) | more than 10 years ago | (#7624393)

They should use the two megapixel disposable cameras instead. That should improve the quality at least.

The subject matter would still be crap.

On a serious note... (0)

JasdonLe (680479) | more than 10 years ago | (#7625643)

Is there some sort of light source on the pill? How can the pics turn out with no light?
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?