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Bay Area Startup Creates Pill to Revolutionize Endoscopies

February 21, 2023 | By Kali Girl

A startup based in the Bay Area has unveiled a new pill that has the potential to transform the way endoscopies are conducted, reports KTVU News. By introducing a robotic pill camera that can navigate through the gastrointestinal tract remotely, the company is aiming to disrupt the multi-billion-dollar endoscopy industry.

Torrey Smith, the CEO is confident that this innovation will enable early detection of cancers without requiring any preparation, sedation, or recovery time. In addition, patients will no longer need to make a trip to the hospital and will be able to receive this service at a fraction of the cost.

Currently, an endoscopy procedure involves placing a long tube down one’s throat to examine the stomach, esophagus, and the small intestine.

“With Pill-Bot our goal is to make a pill-cam that moves under its own power that would function under a Zoom call where the patient could be in their living room of all places. There would be no need to physically go to the hospital. Just drink some water and get on a Zoom call. After you swallow this little robot, your doctor is basically giving you the virtual equivalent of an upper endoscopy,” said Smith.

Dr. Vivek Kumbhari the Chair of Gastroenterology at the Mayo Clinic in Florida is very encouraged.

“All of us in the field appreciate that this is the logical path that we’ll eventually get on,” said Dr. Kumbhari. “So, we are eagerly awaiting it.  I think the timetable from now to the first in human studies is 18 months to 2 years away.  And this is only the start.  Starting in the stomach and hopefully move to other organ systems and eventually some surgery done through these little pill-bots.” 

A date for FDA approval is currently unknown.

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