ST. INGBERT, Germany, June 5 (UPI) -- German scientists say they've created a pill containing tiny cameras that, after being swallowed by patients, can be steered and even stopped in the body.
Similar pill cameras are now available, but they are not controllable, making them unsuitable for examinations of the esophagus and the stomach, the researchers said. For such examinations patients still have to swallow a rather thick endoscope.
But now with engineers at the manufacturer Given Imaging, the Israelite Hospital in Hamburg, Germany, and Imperial College London, and researchers from Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering have developed a control system for the camera pill.
"In future, doctors will be able to stop the camera in the esophagus, move it up and down and turn it, and thus adjust the angle of the camera as required," says Fraunhofer team leader Frank Volke. "We have developed a magnetic device roughly the size of a bar of chocolate," he said. "The doctor can hold it in his hand during the examination and move it up and down the patient's body. The camera inside follows this motion precisely."