Endoscopes, small cameras attached to fiberoptic cables used to explore the innerworkings of the human body, have revolutionized diagnostic medicine. Their only drawbacks up until this point have been their prohibitive price, and the fact that they need to be thoroughly sanitized after each use. A German institute, however, may have remedied these deficiencies by making the cameras significantly smaller, and disposable.
Typical digital endoscopes are formed from three components: a lens, a sensor, and electrical contacts used to relay data from the sensors. Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration has found a way to fuse the components much earlier in the camera’s creation, enabling them to be cost-effective, more self-contained, and roughly the size of a grain of salt.
“The new camera has a resolution of 62,500 pixels, and it transmits its images via an electrical cable, as opposed to an optical fiber,” writes gizmag.
These new cameras can be a fantastic advancement in the field of medicine—we’ll find out when they hit the market in a year. Also, as this technology reverberates out into other arenas, like security and surveillance, we could see countless applications that can benefit far more people.