Israeli-invented swallowable cameras to check for bowel cancer launched on NHS

Mini cameras which are swallowed by patients to check for cancer are being trialled across the NHS. 

The innovative Israeli-invented tech has been welcomed by Jewish cancer charity, Chai Cancer Care, which says it will avoid the need for uncomfortable colonoscopies.

The capsule, no bigger than a pill, can provide a diagnosis within hours. The “sci-fi” invention takes two pictures a second as it makes its way through the body, checking for signs of cancer and other conditions such as Crohn’s disease.

An initial group of 11,000 NHS patients in England will be eligible for the capsule. “We welcome this very encouraging development and breakthrough in camera testing as a replacement for uncomfortable endoscopies,” said Chai Chief Executive, Lisa Steele. 

“Bowel cancer is the 4th most common cancer in the UK, and there is always much anxiety waiting for results so to be able to have such a fast turnaround will be of tremendous benefit.”

The capsule endoscopy normally takes five to eight hours and provides full images of the bowel with information sent to a data recorder in a shoulder bag, so patients can go about their day.

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