Colonoscopies are a very important health test that can screen and detect a host of dangerous conditions early on and prevent their spreading. However, many people are reluctant to go for such a procedure due to the fact that it involves another person, usually a doctor, probing a very intimate area of our bodies as well as the fact that it can be quite an uncomfortable procedure to go through. Now this whole problem is well on its way to disappearing as a new study was successfully able to introduce an autonomously controlled robot inside the colon while giving it all the medical tools required to achieve all sorts of complicated maneuvers internally.
The robot in question, comes in the form of a capsule and is controlled by a magnet that is attached to a robotic arm that directs the capsule’s movement. The capsule robot was thoroughly tested by a Vanderbuilt University Medical Center Professor and his team. They used it to complete 30 retroflexions successfully. This is a maneuver which gives the physician a view of the colon wall and wasn’t possible with previous capsule devices.
This method avoids the patient the traditionally applied pressure from behind that can cause pain and usually requires sedating the subject. During its operation, the robot can safely identify and remove pre-cancerous tumors and lesions. It will also be able to achieve all sorts of different medical procedures that may have required an operation in the past.
Dr Obstein, the lead researcher of the project is aiming at human trials for the end of 2018 since they still need time to perfect the capsule’s internal program and give it more maneuvering capabilities.
The study received widespread acclaim and was published on the most prestigious meeting of the field. It was also supported by more than one governmental agency therefore making its chances of later approval quite high.