Camera in a pill helps with diagnosis

Pictured are Dr Salil Singh and patient Minesh Pankhania holding the pillcam. Photo courtesy of the Bolton News.

Pictured are Dr Salil Singh and patient Minesh Pankhania holding the pillcam. Photo courtesy of the Bolton News.

A tiny camera in a pill is now helping doctors to diagnose patients at the Royal Bolton Hospital.

Patients swallow the small capsule, which contains an LED light, a minute camera and a transmitter, and this sends pictures of the digestive system to a receiver, worn on a belt. It takes up to 18 shots a second which can later be checked on a computer by the doctor.

It is used to view the small bowel, which is not accessible with an endoscope – a thin, flexible tube with a camera on the end that is the usual procedure for viewing the oesophagus, stomach and large bowel.

The sophisticated advanced technology has been introduced at the hospital by consultant gastroenterologist Dr Salil Singh and can help to diagnose conditions such as coeliac disease and Crohn’s disease.

The process is completely painless, only takes a short time to complete, and patients can go home while the capsule is still inside them.

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