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FDA approves pill camera to screen colon

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Given Imaging Ltd. has won US approval for an ingestible pill camera that can help doctors screen the large intestine for polyps and other early signs of colon cancer.

The Israeli company’s technology uses a battery-powered camera to take high-speed photos of the intestinal tract over eight hours. The images are transmitted to a recording device worn around the patient’s waist.

Analysts originally expected Given’s approach to compete with traditional colonoscopy procedures. But company studies found that the images taken by the mini-camera are not quite as clear as those from the in-office procedure. As a result, the company has pursued a more limited market for its PillCam: patients who have trouble undergoing standard colonoscopies.

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