08.11.2022

Gastroscopy via remote-controlled camera capsule

Sensodrive Medtech research project "nuEndo" successfully completed

Gastroscopy without endoscopy tube ... To make this vision come true, Sensodrive, together with Ovesco Endoscopy and researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute, has developed a tiny camera capsule that moves through the patient's stomach via magnetic remote control and sends its images wirelessly as a live stream. The BMBF-funded research project has now been successfully completed.

The initial situation – gastroscopy by flexible endoscopes

Gastroscopy has so far been performed with the help of an endoscopy tube, which is inserted through the mouth and throat to the upper part of the stomach. Most patients find this very unpleasant. In addition, due to the risks for the implementation, multi-year trained personnel are required, which sometimes leads to long waiting times for patients when making appointments.

The vision – tubeless examination by camera capsule

In order to develop completely tubeless technology and to make diagnostic gastroscopy easier and more comfortable for both patients and medical staff, the "nuEndo" research project was launched in 2020. Together with Ovesco Endoscopy AG and the Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Micro-integration (IZM), Sensodrive has since researched and developed a remote-controlled, tubeless camera capsule.

The implementation – powered by Sensodrive, Ovesco and IZM

As part of their two-year research, the three technology partners developed an endoscopy capsule that can be swallowed. It can be used with the help of an external magnetic guide system and can be intuitively guided through the stomach and stream a real-time image of the inside of the stomach to a monitor with its camera . With a diameter of 11 millimetres and a length of about 26 millimetres, the capsule is not much larger than a tablet. Thanks to innovative sensor-actuator technology from Sensodrive, it can be moved intuitively and without a tube in the patient's body using an external, magnetic guide system. The user also receives haptic feedback about the movement of the capsule and can thus control it even more precisely and sensitively.

Outlook – wireless gastroscopy is getting closer

The two-year research project funded by the BMBF ended in August 2022. However, the results are so promising that all participating companies would like to continue the development of "nuEndo" and bring it to market maturity, because then diagnostic gastroscopies could also be carried out in the future by family medical specialists and without anaesthetic. Patients would also no longer have to be afraid of the unpleasant procedure with a tube.