Teardown: Inside Given Technology's Pillcam Colon 2

-October 04, 2012

Anyone who’s ever had to endure an endoscopy or colonoscopy knows those tests can be, so to speak, a bitter pill to swallow. Given Imaging’s Pillcam Colon 2 ingestible capsule offers a friendlier alternative for getting a good look at your innards, from stomach to lower intestine, with less chance of mortality. Now there’s an incentive.

A bit larger than your average vitamin, without the option to blend it in a shake, the Pillcam Colon 2 is a classic exercise in low-power wireless system design, with advanced imaging and novel packaging techniques.

To use the device, the subject swallows the capsule. The images it captures are sent to a sensor array that is worn strapped to the subject’s chest and that connects to a data recorder. The subject returns the recorder to the doctor the next day and excretes the use-once Pillcam within a couple of days. (FYI—or perhaps this is TMI—subjects have been known to retrieve and save their capsules for posterity.)

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