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Endoscope capsule using ultrasound technology

Final Report Summary - TROY (Endoscope Capsule using Ultrasound Technology)

The project's main objective was to prove the concept of an innovative, beyond the state-of-the-art, diagnosis system for prevention and early warning of superficial cancer and premalignant precursor lesions in gastrointestinal tract consisting of an endoscope capsule using ultrasound technology capable of creating 3D computer generated images.

The system is based on a wireless ultrasound endoscope capsule (UEC) (for data acquisition), on a body sensor network (to receive ultrasound and position information from the UEC) and on a personal data recorder (to store the data collected during the exam). The UEC includes miniaturised units for ultrasound, processing, localisation, power supply and communication. The information collected by the UEC and recorded in the personal data recorder is later on transferred to a PC where the TROY workstation software processes the data and creates the images.

The UEC is swallowed by the patient. This allows capturing ultrasound information of all digestive tract. The capsule travels smoothly and painlessly throughout the gastrointestinal tract by natural peristalsis movements, transmitting the ultrasound data to a wearable computing device with data recording capabilities. The wearable computing device is integrated into a belt pack for patient convenience. After the exam, the data is downloaded from the belt pack recorder to a customised PC workstation. The software will then reconstruct a 3D image of the digestive tract and the data mining module will try to recognize problem patterns. This 3D interactive image of the digestive tract will provide to the physicians an excellent tool to analyse the patients' interior body, closing the diagnostic gap by directly viewing the entire digestive tract and can assist them in the diagnosis and treatment of gastrointestinal diseases. The TROY system will provide a complete gastrointestinal tract examination, using a non invasive technique which does not require patient sedation and allows him to continue with his daily life.

The results achieved are very encouraging. The results of the several tests conducted throughout the project, to the individual components and to the overall system, validated the concept and the approach.

The consortium firmly believes that the results from the TROY project represents an important first step towards a decrease on one of the leading causes of dead worldwide - the cancers of digestive tract, since prevention and early detection are considered at the moment the best way of increasing patient survival rate and quality of life. Future developments based on these results will surely result in new diagnosis systems that contribute to this social objective.

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