Medical device manufacturer Medigus has finished developing the world's smallest medical video camera, a disposable device based on the semiconductor technology of TowerJazz.
The camera is for endoscopic diagnoses and surgical use. Its disposability is an economy, explains Medigus: since sterilizing such cameras is expensive and difficult - and can lead to infection.
The new camera can be used in various organs and cavities that older cameras were too big for. It can be used for cardiology, gastroenterology and gynecology, as well as for ear, nose and throat and robotic surgery. This is the second generation of such cameras developed by the two companies.
The new camera has a diameter of 0.99 millimeters, the first under 1 millimeter, and a resolution of 45,000 pixels. It includes a special sensor developed by the two firms, with partial support of the Chief Scientist's Office in the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry.
The disposable medical camera business is estimated at $500 million this year, selling about 4 million units. Analysts predict a market of 7 million cameras by 2015.
Medigus expects to supply the first samples of the new cameras within weeks for cardiology procedures in the U.S. and Japan.
"We are excited to release our second generation disposable camera with advanced features to further progress the medical endoscopic field," said Dr. Elazar Sonnenschein, CEO of Medigus. "Due to our collaboration with TowerJazz, we are able to produce the world's smallest camera to allow a variety of medical procedures that were previously not possible. In addition, our breakthrough technology provides the medical community and patients with quality and cost-effective diagnostics."