Imagine swallowing a disposable camera the size of a multivitamin. It painlessly makes its way down your GI tract, transmitting photographs every half-second to a Walkman-size recording device strapped to your waist. (The recorder receives signals transmitted by the capsule through an array of antennas placed on the patient’s body.) The video pill harmlessly winds its way through your body within 24 hours, capturing up to 57,000 images. The lens is the size of a pinhead and is able to take clear pictures of structures smaller than a hundredth of a millimeter. The whole device weighs no more than a matchbox.

The video pill became a reality. Known as the M2A capsule, it is being marketed by Given Imaging, an Israeli company.