Every year, diseases of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract account for more than 30 million office visits in the United States alone. GI tract disorders are easy to cure in their early stages but are difficult to diagnose: Endoscopy and other common test procedures can be so painful or invasive that patients often avoid such exams.
Israeli biomedical company Given Imaging, now Medtronic, has developed the PillCam® video capsule, a minimally invasive diagnostic tool that substantially improves visual imaging of the small intestine. The swallowable capsule contains a tiny video camera that transmits digital pictures from the GI tract to a receiver fitted against the patient’s body. The resulting pictures can be sent electronically to an attending physician anywhere in the world.
Given Imaging relied on MATLAB® and other MathWorks tools throughout the development of the PillCam capsule. “Because the video capsule was technically complex, MATLAB was essential for us in writing algorithms, testing and checking systems, and planning and building the PillCam,” says Rafi Nave, vice president of R&D at Given Imaging.