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Firm introduces ‘cutting-edge’ technology for gastrointestinal endoscopy

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A DEVICE, which is mainly used to investigate diseases of the small intestine and diagnose diseases of the colon, has been introduced to the Nigerian medical space.

  Known as PillCam Endoscopy Device, it is a multivitamin-size capsule with camera, data recorder, sensor belt and Rapid 8 Software able to take 40 pictures per second of the whole gastrointestinal system when swallowed.

  The patient swallows the capsule approved by United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and the European Union, which passes through the gastrointestinal tract, transmitting images and data wirelessly to a Data Recorder worn by the patient. The video images are downloaded from the data recorder onto a computer with the Rapid 8 software once the procedure is completed and then reviewed by a physician. 

   Speaking at a press conference in Lagos last week to unveil the device, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Inscope Global Resources Ltd, the company that brought the device to Nigeria and its sole distributor, Dr. Anthony Shonde said that the capsule which has been in existence for the past 20 years and just brought to Nigeria is a cheaper and easier way to diagnose diseases of the colon which is where majority of diseases are within the gastro-intestine system, notably, colon cancer. 

   Stating that the conventional and standard way which has been in existence for Bowel examination and investigation is Colonoscopy, the Inscope boss who is a Specialist in Gastroenterology in the United Kingdom (UK), with a role still in the UK to regulate the quality of Bowel Cancer screening  and also a member of Society of Gastroenterologist and Hepatolgy in Nigeria (SOGHIN) however revealed that the method ‘unfortunately’ requires a lot of expensive equipments that needs a lot of skills and power to perform it, adding further that it is invasive and quite painful for the patients who require sedations to be able to tolerate the procedure.

   According to him, “the procedure is simple, safe and non-invasive way of visualizing the Gastrointestinal Tract, does not require sedation, intubation, bowel insufflations or radiation with no risk of perforation of the bowel, high acceptability levels with patients”, adding, “patients may even continue with their normal daily activities during the procedure.” 

   Shonde stated that with the economic situation and challenges facing the country, this newest technology for diagnosis would be very good for Nigerians, saying that the procedure is a lot much cheaper than the traditional endoscopy system.

   Explaining how it works, Anthony said that the pill, once removed from its box, starts taking images up to about 80, 000 images. He noted that the patient has to purge him/herself before taking the pill to aid a clear vision of the internal system. When swallowed, the patient also have to take a lot of fluids and the Pillcam stays in the patient’s system between 8-11 hours without disintegrating or causing any negative effect in the body before it is finally passed-out, Shonde revealed.

  He listed the targeted audience for the diagnosis to include investigating patients who are exhibiting symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain or bleeding; screening for early-stage colorectal cancers and polyps with a full and complete view of the colon and monitoring pre-existing conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

  Shonde revealed that the procedure will be carried out in the mean time at the company’s office in Surulere area of Lagos with plans underway for hospitals throughout the country to also key into it revealing that over 1, 200, 000 patients worldwide has benefited from the endoscopy.



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