There Is A Robot Inside Of Me

Written by: Lilly Cobal


Severe gastrointestinal problems are a common medical concern. More than 200 million persons annually see their primary physician for infectious gastroenteritis. Gastro issues involve infections that mostly caused by a virus, bacteria or a parasite. The stomach and small intestine are affected by gastrointestinal issues. The gastrointestinal symptoms can include diarrhea, pain in the abdomen, and vomiting.

In order to examine the gastro tract, a physician is required to have patients undergo an endoscopic examination. This involved using a semi-flexible scope or tube with a light and camera attached to the end. It is then passed through the mouth and down the throat into the bowel. Your doctor can view its route on a color TV monitor. 

An endoscopy examination is also called an upper GI where a very thin scope examines the stomach, upper small bowel, and esophagus. Another endoscopic exam is known as a colonoscopy where the doctors examine the intestine, large bowel, and the colon. The type of endoscopy your doctor will recommend depends on the part of the body to be examined.

Recently introduced to the gastrointestinal examinations of the small bowel is the “enteroscopy” to find hidden gastrointestinal bleeding. However, due to modern technology, a tiny robotic pill may be entering your body in a less invasive procedure. 

Say hello to Sonopill. Sonopill is an artificial intelligence capsule that houses a micro-ultrasound transducer, a camera, a magnet, and an LED light. The capsule is 1/10 of an inch in diameter and 1/17 of an inch in length. The robotic Sonopill or capsule will be guided deep inside the body by its magnetic built-in mechanism.

The patient will be fitted with magnets like those that a doctor places on you when you are undergoing a heart pace examination. Physicians can manipulate the capsule as it is guided precisely through the gastrointestinal tract. Prior ingestible pills were not moveable to exacting inner body locations.

Researchers report that a Sonopill device will shortly replace the scope device that is guided down the throat for a look at the gastrointestinal tract. When the Sonopill capsule hits the market, a patient only needs to swallow the capsule and lay back while your physician guides the miniscule robotic pill device.

The US and UK multi-disciplinary teams that are working on the Sonopill project are led by Sandy Cochran from Dundee University. The Sonopill project was recently awarded millions to continue their work. The team members are working diligently to soon put the Sonopill on the market. 

Bowel cancer is the UK’s second largest cancer killer. Unfortunately, this disease is rising among persons under the age of 50. For the US, bowel problems within the large intestinal tract are prevalent among patients in the US. 

United Kingdom scientists and multi-disciplinary teams of researchers, electrical engineers, life scientists, mechanical engineers, and clinical fellows have been working on robotic intelligent medical devices for a decade. 

Sonopill technology is the latest robotic diagnostic device that can give physicians micro-ultrasound images of a person’s intestines. The full report on the Sonopill technology is published in the June edition of the Journal of Science Robotics. 

The magnetic properties of the capsule are based on the principle that magnets can attract and repel each other. Then a robotic arm is passed over the patient and it communicates with the magnet inside the capsule allowing it to be moved around the colon to take pictures. 

This amazing engineered medical discovery is painless for patients, even as the micro-ultrasound capsule is passing within the gastrointestinal tract. It is interesting to note that ingestible pill size sensors are not anything new. 

The earlier ingestible concepts were not as diagnostic as the Sonopill. Earlier pill size sensors measured temperatures and blood pressure via a patch worn on the skin and its data was submitted to a smartphone. 

Capsule endoscopy pills or “pillcams” for medical diagnosis in the gastrointestinal tract is only ten years old. Patients worldwide have been beneficiaries of this technology. The earlier endoscopy devices recorded and transmitted video data representing the inside of the intestinal tract. 

Engineers and medical researchers have been working on more advanced medical diagnostics – voila, introducing Sonopill! Guiding a micro-ultrasound capsule to perform targeted imaging deep inside the human body is quite a scientific and life-saving windfall for the medical community and more importantly the patients. 

Ingestible electronic pills are proving to be quite accurate and more comfortable for patients. Continued electronic ingestibles are being developed to more accurately locate cancerous DNA molecules and more. 

For now, the robotic Sonopill with its micro-ultrasound technology can show high-resolution images that may help to sense small lesions within the fatty layers of the intestinal tract. This information gives physicians a clearer visual image to detect the early signs of intestinal tract infections. 

Sonopill has the potential to deliver a succinctly targeted procedure that will be cost-effective for patients. The Sonopill images are designed to produce clear close-up images that can help to give doctors life-saving information.

Future ingestible capsules are a forward-looking treatment for physicians to conduct traditional medical check-ups that will catch early forming cellular changes or molecules that could cause diseases, especially in the digestive system.

The Sonopill was released on the market is just the forerunner of tomorrow’s robotic ingestibles. The next electronic ingestibles will be based on nanotechnology. A leading pharmaceutical manufacturer is also working on nano-sensors that can be released into the bloodstream.

Once in the bloodstream, it is being designed to send electronic signals to a smartphone. The signals in nano-technology will detect possible heart attacks, infections, and other health issues. Ingestible smart pills and nano-sensors are the latest frontiers for wireless, non-invasive health procedures. 


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There Is A Robot Inside Of Me

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