Machine Vision

To Your Health

May 1, 2005 By: Barbara G. Goode, Sensors Sensors

Given Imaging ( has introduced a new PillCam, the swallowable diagnostic device that takes photos as it passes through a patient's system; the device has received FDA approval and is available immediately. New CMOS sensors from Micron Technology (, embedded in the PillCam, feature a higher frame rate than the original PillCam SB design. With one sensor at either end, and a frame rate 7 × that of the SB version, the new PillCam ESO (for esophagus) transmits 14 pictures/s to a receiver worn by the patient. The added capabilities will let medical professionals diagnose throat disease and related ailments in the esophageal passage.

Micron and Given engineers worked together to maintain low-power operations and develop proprietary automatic lighting control. The PillCam, first introduced in 2001, has just received the Wall Street Journal's silver award for technology innovation, taking first place in the competition's medical category. The emerging company Nexense ( has raised equity funding in excess of $3 million to accelerate commercialization of its technology, with an emphasis on the consumer health market. Nexense's biosensor platform is based on its patented method of measuring parameters such as temperature, acceleration, pressure, distance, weight, and any other physical entities. The company points out that because its technology makes measurements in a direct digital manner, it is not constrained by the limitations of traditional methods. Nexense is at the final stage of product integration and customization for nonintrusive, noncontacting, and nonradiating vital-sign monitoring devices targeted for home use.

"Nexense has demonstrated a high level of growth potential across several vertical industries, and our investment will enable the company to grow faster, both domestically and internationally," says Arnold Thaler, Emmes, LLC. "In particular, the company's biosensor platform will enable the development of nonintrusive devices for home health monitoring, a sector that is rapidly expanding."

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