Over 7,500 Scottish patients are benefiting from 2 ground breaking diagnostic services that are helping them access cancer checks closer to home.
Both the colon capsule endoscopy service and the use of cytosponge means that patients can get scope results by simply swallowing capsules rather than using traditional scope methods and sedation.
In colon capsule endoscopy (CCE) patients swallow a small PillCam that takes 50,000 pictures of the bowel as it passes through the digestive system, helping to identify early signs of cancer.
The images are transmitted to a recording device worn on a belt around the patient’s waist, which is then returned to the hospital where images are downloaded and reviewed.
The single-use capsule passes through the patient’s bowel before being flushed away.
Professor Angus Watson, Consultant Colorectal Surgeon and National Clinical Lead for Colon Capsule Endoscopy, said: “Scotland has led the way for CCE in the United Kingdom.
“The service continues to innovate with plans for home delivery, Artificial Intelligent reading of images and ‘digital coaching’ of patients using phone applications.”
Cytosponge helps to identify important oesophageal conditions such as Barrett’s oesophagus.
Cytosponge is a small capsule which is attached to a fine string. After swallowing, the capsule coating (vegetarian gelatin) dissolves in the stomach to release a small brush which, when removed, allows cell collection from the lining of the oesophagus (gullet or food-pipe). These cells are then analysed for abnormalities.
Supported by NHS Golden Jubilee’s Centre for Sustainable Delivery (CfSD), both innovations are a collaborative between health, academia and industry and are available across NHS Scotland.
Professor Jann Gardner, Chief Executive of NHS Golden Jubilee, said:
“In these challenging times, it is vital that we improve patient experience with faster diagnostic imaging, facilitating targeted treatments and improving long term outcomes.
“This cutting-edge technology has helped NHS Scotland advance cancer diagnosis and provide direct benefit to over 7,500 patients.
“Both technologies provide a better, more comfortable experience for patients, and we look forward to ensuring that even more people are treated this way as we continue to help meet the diagnostic demand resulting from the pandemic.”