Article Abstract

The history of time for capsule endoscopy

Authors: Samuel N. Adler


Capsule endoscopy entered the domain of clinical gastroenterology in the year 2001 with the clearance by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and obtaining CE Mark certification. The journey from conception to implementation started 20 years earlier. In 1981, Gavriel Iddan took a sabbatical from his regular position as a senior engineer at the electro optical design section of Rafael, the research and development (R&D) branch of the Israeli Ministry of Defense. Iddan had taken an interest in medical imaging and spent his leave to study X-ray and ultrasound imaging for Elscint (a company dedicated to medical imaging) in Boston. His neighbor, Eitan Scapa, an Israeli gastroenterologist spent his sabbatical in a medical institution in Boston as well. The two befriended each other and Iddan learned about the use of fiber optics in the gastrointestinal tract. Scapa explained to Iddan that the technology of fiber optics left the small bowel out of reach for medical inspection. That is when Iddan became aware of the medical challenge and started thinking about solutions. In the meanwhile, small charged coupled device (CCD) imaging chips reached the market.