Dubai: Have you heard of robot pills? Here's what they do

Squirting water in six different directions, the pill once swallowed will allow a doctor to remotely examine the insides of patient over a virtual call



by

Nasreen Abdulla

Published: Fri 14 Oct 2022, 6:43 AM

Last updated: Fri 14 Oct 2022, 2:02 PM

Ever heard of a robotic pill? This is one of the cool technologies on display at Gitex Global 2022. Manufactured by the Silicon Valley-based company EndiaTX, the PillBot could allow people to have an endoscopy from the comfort of their homes!

Squirting water in six different directions, the robotic pill made of polycarbonate, once swallowed, will allow a doctor to remotely examine the insides of patient over a virtual call. According to its makers, the tech could revolutionise medical care and take a lot of pressure off the healthcare system.

“If you feel like there is something wrong with your stomach, your doctor who will send over the robotic pill,” said Torrey Smith, co-founder of EndiaTX.

“You swallow a pill with water and get on a Zoom call. Your doctor can see inside your stomach, you watch a cool video and that is it. If it is like an ulcer or a lesion, then the doctor can prescribe medicines. If there is something more concerning or dangerous, then you go into a hospital the next day. I want that to be the journey – just a few days to replace a journey that could take patients months of hospital visits and appointments.”

At a $35 making cost, the pill is very affordable and needs to function for only 5-10 minutes to give doctors a good look inside the stomach. It will pass through the human body naturally. Torrey claims that he has already swallowed 15 of the pills for research.

Currently in the developing phase, the COO of EndiaTX, Bill Dixon, is hoping to get the product released in the market in the next few years.

“If we manage to get all the approvals by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), then we are hoping to get it released by 2026,” he said. “That is our current projected trajectory, but we want to do everything correctly, so we are looking at all the steps very closely.”

Bill Dixon (left) and Torrey Smith (right) display the PillBot
Bill Dixon (left) and Torrey Smith (right) display the PillBot

Torrey said the company has big plans with this technology. “This is just the beginning,” he said. “We want to make it smaller and put it in people’s brains. This can make the tiny and precise cuts that is so essentially needed in a brain surgery.

Gitex, which will run until Friday, October 14, is expected to host more than 100,000 attendees from 170 countries. It is one of the largest technological exhibitions in the world and has more than 5,000 exhibitors from 90 countries.

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