Watch as a camera onboard a pill-sized robot swims around and captures footage from inside a human stomach for the very first time. The gastrointestinal tract being navigated and filmed in the remote-control diagnostic pill’s first in-human trial is that of Torrey Smith, Co-Founder & CEO of the biomedical device startup Endiatx.
Endiatx First In-Human Trial video:
Edited for brevity/added clarity – full original unedited version here, PillBot camera recording alone here.
Endiatx is a Silicon Valley Founder Institute portfolio company developing a pill-sized robot to explore and perform work inside the body, starting with the GI tract. Endiatx plans to disrupt the common but notoriously uncomfortable colonoscopy procedure—replacing it with a non-invasive process that does not require sedation.
As seen in the top video, the Endiatx diagnostic robot allows a doctor to actively control it, revolutionizing the possibilities for both diagnostics and treatment options versus existing types of "capsule endoscopy" sensors and cameras, which can only move passively through the GI tract.
The nomenclature of the company itself is telling: in the name Endiatx, the ‘End’ signifies “Endo” meaning “inside”, and ‘dia’ for "diagnostic" – but the final ‘tx’ in Endiatx denotes the medical shorthand for "treatment." The founders’ vision for Endiatx’s technology very much involves treatment: a controllable capsule that acts as a platform, where onboard tools can do more than just take footage, but perform a precise biopsy anywhere inside the GI tract, or even make an active remediation, like snipping a benign polyp in the intestine.
You can read our full profile on Endiatx here from June of 2019, and watch the December 2019 FI exclusive interview with Co-Founder & CEO Torrey Smith below:
More recently, CEO Torrey Smith joined the Founder Institute live for a 'Building Beyond Covid' alumni online panel event, where he shared some of his personal insights on leadership, product engineering, and entrepreneurship.
Eventually, Miniature Robots will be prevalent throughout Medicine.
When one considers the breakneck progress in technological miniaturization evident all around our world today – and how much progress the Endiatx team itself has shown over such a short period of time, transforming its ‘Pool Bot’ down to this first in-human swallow-able PillBot capsule (see prototype picture below) – the future of miniature robots in medical diagnostic and treatment more generally seems limitless.
It feels inevitable that what Endiatx has just pioneered—actively controlled in-human robotic diagnostic tools—will someday not be limited to even just the human GI tract. Perhaps sooner than we think, micro-robots will perform similar functions in the bloodstream, or even navigate cerebrospinal fluids to perform nano-scale brain surgeries.
With this successfully demonstrated in-human trial, Endiatx demonstrates itself on the precipice of ushering in perhaps the most revolutionary technological platform jump in GI diagnostic and treatment since endoscopy itself—and ultimately, the promises diagnostic and treatment tools that will be far less invasive, too. Even if the changes coming still feel a little hard to swallow, less invasive diagnostic and treatment proceedures are some good news in technology that we can all take comfort in.
You can learn more about Endiatx on their website at Endiatx.com.
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