Wednesday, June 14, 2006

One Step Closer to Fantastic Voyage

Today, we got one step closer to participating in Jules Verne's Fantastic Voyage journey through the body with the announcement of approval by the FDA of Given Imaging's PillCam for gastrointestinal endoscopy. You see upper endoscopy can determine if someone is bleeding from the upper GI system, like a stomach ulcer or tear in the esophagus (the swallowing tube that leads to the stomach). Lower endoscopy, or more commonly called colonoscopy, lets those GI doctors look up your, er, see inside your colon.

But in between, doctors have had a heck of a time looking in the yards of small intestine to determine sites of bleeding or tumor, until now.

But why, pray tell, does a cardiac electrophysiologist care about this development? Well the answer lies buried in this story.
RAPID Access (the software that accompanies the PillCam) also allows physicians to remotely initialize a DataRecorder to administer the Company's PillCam(R) video capsules to patients at satellite sites. Data can then be sent to a central location for processing and interpretation.

You see with this approval, the FDA permits Given Imaging's software to remotely reset the PillCam.

As far as I am aware, this is the first time the FDA has permitted reprogramming of a medical device over the internet. A crack in the dam has surfaced. It does not take too much of a leap to suspect that it's just a matter of time before we'll not only be able to analyze cardiac defibrillators via the internet (as we do now), but also reprogram them.


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