Breakthrough New Medical Invention

Getting a medical procedure done with an endoscope today is a huge hassle, because doctors have no real way to track where the endoscope is in your body without using expensive equipment like x-rays. However, this may not be the case in the near future, thanks to a new invention by scientists at the University of Edinburgh that employs highly sensitive technology to basically capture minute light from the endoscope in question.

To explain how it works, you need to know a little about endoscopes in general. These medical instruments are basically very small cameras (with lights attached) on a cord that goes down your throat (or other orifice) so that doctors can get a clear look at your insides without cutting you open. Directing the endoscope is very hard, however, because tracking it once it’s out of sight is near impossible, until now. The new camera from the University of Edinburgh is so sensitive that it can detect photons, or individual particles of light. It can receive these both from the camera inside the body itself and from random locations that the photons might have bounced off of (like all those pesky organs).

The invention then uses the locations of these photons it’s receiving to pinpoint exactly where the endoscope is in your body! It could be used at a patient’s bedside and would dramatically reduce both the time these procedures take and, theoretically, the cost. Professor Kev Dhaliwal says of the new invention, “This is an enabling technology that allows us to see through the human body…. The ability to see a device’s location is crucial for many applications in healthcare, as we move forwards with minimally invasive approaches to treating disease.”