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The pillcam can detect diseases in the small intestines. "We can make diagnosis of bleeding, lesions, early tumors, some malignant, and narrowing of other types of diseases," said Dr. Marc Taormina with Midwest Gastroenterology Center. Taormina said one of the most common problems the pillcam detects is Crohn's disease.
In an 8 hour period the camera captures more than 55,000 images. "The capsule is disposable. Once the capsule has reached its battery life, it stops transmitting and leaves the body through a normal bowel movement," Taormina said. The Taormina believes the Food and Drug Administration will soon approve a colon pill, which will be a less invasive procedure than the standard colonoscopy. He said he expects the FDA to approve the colon pill by the end of 2008. Some insurance companies cover the pillcam. If you have to pay out of pocket, it will cost about $800.