Scientists have made a massive breakthrough: they developed a camera that can see through the human body
The device has been designed especially for doctors, to help them easily track medical tools, known as endoscopes, during all internal examinations.
So far, doctors had to rely on expensive scans such as X-rays to track their progress. However, this was an expensive and longer process, old-fashion even.
With the new camera, everything gets easier. It works by detecting light sources located inside the body, such as the illuminated tip of the endoscope’s long flexible tube.
“It has immense potential for diverse applications, such as the one described in this work. The ability to see a device’s location is crucial for many applications in healthcare, as we move forwards with minimally invasive approaches to treating disease.” said professor Kev Dhaliwal of the University of Edinburgh
The camera can detect individual particles which are called photons. Moreover, it has such a high level of sensitivity that it can catch even tiny traces of light passing through tissue.
Important to mention is also a special feature that it allows it to record the time taken for light to pass through the body. This means that it is able to point out the precise location of the endoscope.
Dr Michael Tanner, of Heriot-Watt University, said: “My favourite element of this work was the ability to work with clinicians to understand a practical healthcare challenge, then tailor advanced technologies and principles that would not normally make it out of a physics lab to solve real problems. I hope we can continue this interdisciplinary approach to make a real difference in healthcare technology.”