PillCam, the tiny pill-size camera you swallow instead of a normal colonoscopy, is now approved by the U.S. FDA. Here's the view your doctor will see. It's gross—but totally fascinating.
While it might make you squirm to watch the folds and sphincters of the digestive system whiz by, there's a very real need for this kind of tech. Colorectal cancer is the number two cause of cancer death in the United States, behind only lung cancer, and screening for polyps is the single best defense against this disease. While the PillCam isn't quite rigorous enough to completely replace the standard colonoscopy, it offers an alternative for patients who can't undergo the older type of procedure. And ignoring the destination, the mere fact that we can make a camera so tiny you can swallow it is just plain amazing. At last we get some Jetsons-style science-fiction stuff apart from swooshing automatic glass doors.