A pill-sized camera for gastroscopy: new technology trialled at Gemelli hospital

New medical technology from China will make gastroscopy less invasive and less uncomfortable. It’s called NaviCam Stomach System and is essentially a capsule, roughly the size of a regular paracetamol pill, which is ingested by the patient with a glass of water. Inside the capsule is a robotic microcamera which can move autonomously within the stomach (but can also be controlled remotely) and records images, until it is naturally expelled from the body.

In Italy, this video-pill was trialled for the first time at the Policlinico Gemelli in Rome, and the results were presented during the EndoLive Conference (24-26 May, 2023). Professor Cristiano Spada, Director of the Surgical Digestive Endoscopy Unit and Professor of Gastroenterology at the Università Cattolica, explained: “It is highly advanced technology combining the ability to control the path of the video-capsule using a magnetic system, while its innovative and intelligent software analyses and recognises lesions through artificial intelligence algorithms”.

The captured images are then remotely viewed by the physician, with improved resolution and precision. The revolution also benefits the patients, as they will no longer have to endure the discomfort of having a tube inserted through the mouth and oesophagus, thus avoiding sedation as well.