Certain areas of the gastrointestinal tract, in particular a specific mid section of the small intestine, have proven difficult to access via other types of endoscopy. Using upper endoscopy, also called EGD, it is possible to view the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum (first part of the small intestine) through an endoscope inserted through the mouth of the patient. A colonoscope can be inserted through the rectum, and u00a0allows visualizing the colon and ileum (distal portion of the small intestine). Neither allows access to the majority of the middle portion of the small intestine, but WCE technology does.u00a0
First approved by the Food And Drug Administration (FDA) in 2001, the procedure typically involves having a patient swallow a pill-sized capsule containing a camera which will, as it travels through the digestive tract, take thousands of pictures that are transmitted to a data receiver worn on the patient's belt, which can then be downloaded and assessed by a physician. A transmitted radio-frequency signal can be used to accurately estimate the location of the capsule and to track it in real time inside the body and gastrointestinal tract.u00a0
The patient will fast overnight, the same as they would for other types of endoscopy, and upon arriving at the physician's office, they would be fitted for the equipment, and hooked up to leads such as those used during an EKG, before swallowing the capsule and being released. They would then return in about 8 hours for the removal of the equipment. Within one to three days, the disposable capsule would pass through the system naturally.u00a0
The technology has evolved over time to achieve advancements in areas of improved resolution, increased battery life, and recently CapsoVision Inc. announced the launch of CapsoCloudu2122, allowing physicians to now "extract exam data without processing capsules post-ingestion with HIPAA-compliant cloud-based exam management system". This service is exclusively available for the CapsoCam Plus - a device touted by the company to be the only endoscopy capsule to offer 360 degree panoramic lateral imaging. This means a patient could simply leave the office after swallowing the device, return to normal activities, and then retrieve the capsule, send it to the CapsoCloud Download Center, where the data is uploaded to a cloud based exam management system to be later accessed by the physician - eliminating the need for the data receiver and the return to the physician's office later in the day.