The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has recently approved a pill containing a camera as an alternative to colonoscopies in certain cases.
In colonoscopies used to detect colon cancer, doctors use a bendable tube that contains a camera and stretches four feet long to explore the patient's large intestines. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has recently approved a pill containing a camera as an alternative to colonoscopies in certain cases.
Given Imaging's most recent medical device - the "PillCam Colon" - has already been approved for use in 80 countries. The targeted and approved use in the U.S. is for the 750,000 American patients who cannot undergo the intense procedure due to various reasons.
The PillCam Colon operates on batteries and takes high-speed images as it goes slowly for 8 hours through the digestive tract. The camera then transmits the pictures to a recording device that the patient wears so the doctor can look at the images later.
According to MorningStar analyst Debbie Wang, Given Imaging was smart in marketing the PillCam Colon in a way that complemented instead of competed with the colonoscopy procedure. She said, "Given's management understands that the traditional colonoscopy is the gastroenterologist's bread and butter right now."
Estimates say even with the limited market the PillCam Colon's sales could reach $60 million in North America by 2019 with each pill camera costing $500 as opposed to $4,000 for a colonoscopy.