West Midlands trials bowel cancer detection tool

West Midlands 5G has announced the launch of a collaborative trial which will see patients use a 5G-connected device at home to detect if they could have bowel cancer.

The device, developed alongside NHS Arden, University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire University and CorporateHealth International, allows patients to deploy a pill-sized camera enabled by 5G to conduct a colon capsule endoscopy (CCE) at home under medical guidance.

Patients who have reported digestive or stomach complaints and are awaiting an endoscopy - a procedure whereby a camera is fed into the bowel through a thin tube to detect signs of issues such as cancer - will be offered the less invasive home procedure as part of the trial.

As of April 2021, there were 187,000 patients scheduled for an endoscopy in hospitals in the UK according to the NHS.

The partnership behind the development of the 5G-connected CCE Smartbox claimed that the device will both capture and transmit images of the bowel without the need for a hospital setting and by doing so reduce the “waiting list bottleneck” through self-administration.

The trial will reportedly be the first large-scale test of CCE technology and Robert Franks, managing director of WM5G, said the trial showed how “5G holds the ability to revolutionise the way we think about healthcare making it more patient-centric”.

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