A swallowable camera pill is the first to use fluorescent light to help detect cancer in the human throat or gut. The new device made by Scottish researchers could replace the clumsy endoscope “snake” cameras often used to check out a patient’s innards.
Existing camera pills rely upon visible light to illuminate the patient’s passages. The new camera pill takes a step farther with a wireless version of fluorescence endoscopy—a method of detecting certain molecules in human tissue that naturally give off green light after absorbing the energy of blue light. Such a method can help detect cancer in the intestines, bowel, and esophagus because cancerous tissue can have up to three times higher concentrations of such molecules.