Experts believe the device, which is swallowed by the patient and controlled by doctors using a wireless connection, could transform the difficult and invasive process of diagnosing serious conditions.
The pill, which contains a tiny camera, is also fitted with tiny legs that can be activated remotely once it is inside the colon or intestine.
The legs protrude outwards and are movable in order to make device to ‘crawl’ inside the patient like a spider. It can be moved back and forth, giving doctors more flexibility during the examination.
Dr Enrico Grasso, a cancer specialist at the University Hospital Tor Vergata in Rome.in Italy, told the BBC the invention could reduce the use of endoscopes that many patients find so uncomfortable that they refuse treatment.
Firstly the patients ingest the “spider pill”, which has a minute camera with an attachment of tiny legs that protrude outwards; the device is controlled using a wireless connection.
Once the scan has been completed, the spider pill exits the body in the same way as waste. Other versions of the camera are currently being developed and tested.