Despite all of the advancements made with technologies that provide images from within the body, there is still a lot of room for improvement. Today, researchers have invented a new type of camera that can actually see through structures inside the body! The camera has the ability to do this by detecting light sources behind as much as 7.9 inches of bodily tissue. The prototype comes from the University of Edinburgh in the UK.
This prototype was designed to work with endoscopes. Endoscopes are long, slender instruments that are often designed to include cameras, sensors, and lights to allow medical professionals to look inside hollow cavities inside the human body. While endoscopes are an invaluable tool, there are still limitations. The biggest limitation the endoscope has is that even though there is a camera attached to the end of the device, it is still difficult for doctors to pin point exactly where the endoscope is inside of the body. Usually doctors have to follow up with an x-ray to be sure.
With this new technology, medical professionals will be able to pinpoint where the endoscope is by the illuminated tip. The device has thousands of integrated photo detectors inside of the camera, which allows the device to detect individual particles of light being beamed through human tissue. This technology could make procedures much simpler and eliminate the need for unnecessary x-rays or other follow up procedures.