PillCam is like a GoPro for your guts (and way more comfy than the alternative)

PillCam Colon2

Thanks to the miracles of modern technology, you can now get your colon checked without ever taking your trousers off. Just last week, the FDA granted its seal of approval to PillCam Colon, a tiny pill-sized camera designed to help doctors spot polyps and other early signs of colon cancer.

Instead of going in through your out door like traditional colonoscopy equipment, you just swallow PillCam Colon like any other pill. Once it’s down the hatch, the device begins to snap high-speed photos of your digestive system, and then wirelessly beams them to a storage device you wear on your waist. After the pill has made it’s way through your guts (usually about eight hours) and picked up all kinds of glamour shots of your intestines, your doctor just hooks up the receiver box to a computer to check out the resulting video.

PillCam Colon intestinesAs this procedure is clearly far less invasive than current colonoscopy procedures (which generally involve probing the large intestine with a tiny camera embedded in a four-foot long, flexible tube – no thanks!), the FDA hopes that it will attract adults who avoid regular screenings due to fears of pain, embarrassment and general discomfort. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines currently recommend regular colonoscopies beginning at age 50 and continuing through age 75 – although most U.S. adults don’t follow these recommendations because, well, nobody likes having a camera probe shoved up there.

It’s also worth noting that at just $500, PillCam Colon is significantly more affordable than the roughly $4,000 rate for a colonoscopy, which makes it accessible for people with lower incomes. That being said, however, company studies did find that images taken by the mini-camera were not quite as clear as those from the in-office procedure, and that PillCam Colon should ideally be used in conjunction with traditional colonoscopy procedures, not as a full-on replacement.

Check out the video below to see the camera in action – but be warned, it’s kinda gross, and possibly NSFW. I’d imagine this is what the inside of a sarlaac pit looks like.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Booze-filled ski poles and crypto piggy banks

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

Are e-cigarettes safe? Here’s what the most recent science says

Ecigarettes are widely regarded and advertised as a healthier alternative to cigarettes for people who are trying to kick the smoking habit. How safe are these cigarette alternatives? We went deep into the recent scientific literature to…
Outdoors

Drink what nature provides with the best water purifiers

Looking for reliable water purification? Staying hydrated is important, especially when you are hiking or camping far from civilization. Check out our picks of the best water purifiers for your camp, backpack, or pocket.
Product Review

The Brava Oven takes all the thinking out of cooking

Using bulbs to cook food at different light frequencies, the Brava Oven lets even the clueless cook a tasty meal. But your own smart chef doesn’t come cheap.
Emerging Tech

Postmates’ to roll out Minion-like autonomous delivery robots in 2019

Postmates is about to employ a cute little robot to work alongside its human delivery personnel. Called Serve, the wheel-based bot can carry items weighing up to 50 pounds and has a range of 30 miles.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.
Emerging Tech

Rise of the Machines: Here’s how much robots and A.I. progressed in 2018

2018 has generated no shortage of news, and the worlds of A.I. and robotics are no exception. Here are our picks for the most exciting, game changing examples of both we saw this year.
Emerging Tech

Thrill-seekers will be able to pilot themselves in a giant drone as soon as 2019

Want to hitch a ride on a giant drone? The startup Lift Aircraft is gearing up to let paying customers fly its 18-rotor giant drones over assorted scenic landscapes across the U.S.
Emerging Tech

CRISPR gene therapy regulates hunger, staves off severe obesity in mice

Researchers from UC San Francisco have demonstrated how CRISPR gene editing can be used to prevent severe obesity in mice, without making a single edit to the mouse's genome. Here's how.
Emerging Tech

Capture app saves money by 3D scanning objects using iPhone’s TrueDepth camera

Capture is a new iPhone app created by the Y Combinator-backed startup Standard Cyborg. It allows anyone to perform 3D scans of objects and share them with buddies. Here's how it works.
Emerging Tech

Sick of walking everywhere? Here are the best electric skateboards you can buy

Thanks for Kickstarter and Indiegogo, electric skateboards are carving a bigger niche than you might think. Whether you're into speed, mileage, or something a bit more stylish, here are the best electric skateboards on the market.
Emerging Tech

Parker Solar Probe captures first image from within the atmosphere of the sun

NASA has shared the first image from inside the atmosphere of the sun taken by the Parker Solar Probe. The probe made the closest ever approach to a star, gathering data which scientists have been interpreting and released this week.
Emerging Tech

Say cheese: InSight lander posts a selfie from the surface of Mars

NASA's InSight mission to Mars has commemorated its arrival by posting a selfie. The selfie is a composite of 11 different images which were taken by one of its instruments, the Instrument Deployment Camera.
Emerging Tech

Researchers create a flying wireless platform using bumblebees

Researchers at the University of Washington have come up with a novel way to create a wireless platform: using bumblebees. As mechanical drones' batteries run out too fast, the team made use of a biology-based solution using living insects.