The Pill Camera

Published 02/15 2014 11:49AM

Updated 02/18 2014 09:39AM

A tiny pill could soon make the dreaded colonoscopy much easier to swallow, literally. The FDA recently gave the green light to the “PillCam” which is exactly what it sounds like: a tiny pill equipped with a tiny camera that records images as it makes its way through the colon.

A doctor then reviews the images to check for signs of polyps or other problems. The PillCam will reportedly be utilized for patients who can’t undergo a traditional colonoscopy, but it one day may offer all patients an alternative to the dreaded probe. Another pill that’s easy to swallow? The cost. The manufacturer says the device may be more cost effective due to reduction in physician resources and facility costs.

Technology is enabling us to be more preemptive than ever before when it comes to medical diagnosis, and there’s some debate if we’re moving too far into prediction-medicine. Some people don’t want to know early on if they have a terminal illness, others are grateful for the extra time they are allotted—and others are simply avoiding the scenario entirely. The fear of the unknown is strong, but what happens when it’s so easy to find out that we no longer have an excuse to put off the testing?

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