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Devices, systems, and methods for in-vivo sensing and in-vivo imaging using activity extending or delay mechanisms

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000034015D
Publication Date: 2005-Jan-12

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Activity extending or delay mechanisms for in-vivo sensing or in-vivo imaging. Embodiments may alter the timing of the operation of in-vivo sensing or imaging devices. An in-vivo sensing device may include a controller and/or a delay mechanism, which may delay and/or prolong the operation of the in-vivo sensing device and/or of components within the in-vivo sensing device (e.g., imager, power source, illumination source, transmitter, processor, or sensor). Such a controller or control capability may be internal or external to the in-vivo sensing device. An in-vivo sensing device may be inserted to a patient's body (e.g., by swallowing a swallowable in-vivo sensing device such as a swallowable capsule); the in-vivo sensing device may be non-operational or not fully operational upon insertion, and may become operational or fully operational after, for example, a delay such as a pre-defined delay period has elapsed. An in-vivo sensing device may become operational or fully operational upon a triggering event, e.g., reception of one or more signals, or determination that one or more pre-defined conditions were met, or the elapse of a certain amount of time. A plurality of in-vivo sensing devices may be inserted to a patient's body (e.g., by swallowing a swallowable capsule). Some or all of the in-vivo sensing devices may include a delay mechanism, or may receive external delay commands, to delay the operation of some or all of their functionalities. Additionally, a delay period may elapse between insertion of multiple in-vivo sensing devices. Consecutive sensing (e.g., imaging) within a body lumen or cavity using a plurality of in-vivo sensing devices which may be inserted consecutively; the in-vivo sensing devices may have suitable delay mechanisms to allow prolonged, improved and/or extended sensing time. Overlapped in-vivo sensing may occur, for example, where a first in-vivo sensing device is activated or starts sensing after a second (or subsequent) in-vivo sensing device, but before the second (or subsequent) in-vivo sensing device finishes sensing. More than two in-vivo sensing devices may be used, for example, consecutively, partially in parallel, with partial overlap, or in various other suitable ways.

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Attorney Docket No.: P-6164-USP

United States Provisional Patent Application For:

DEVICE, METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR IN-VIVO SENSING

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to the field of in-vivo sensing. More specifically, the present invention relates to devices, systems, and methods for in-vivo sensing using activity extending or delay mechanisms.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Devices, systems and methods for in-vivo sensing of passages or cavities within a body, and for gathering information (e.g., image information, pH information, temperature information, electrical impedance information, pressure information, etc.), are known in the art.

[0003] An in-vivo sensing device may include, for example, an imaging device for obtaining images from inside a body cavity or lumen, such as the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The imaging device may include, for example, an imager associated with units such as, for example, an optical system, an illumination unit, a power source, a transmitter and an antenna. Other types of in-vivo sensing devices exist, such as endoscopes which may not require a transmitter, and devices performing functions other than imaging.

[0004] Various operations performed by an in-vivo sensing device may consume energy, which may be provided by, for example, a power source within the device. Typically, reliable acquisition and transmission of images or other data may consume a significant amount of energy. There may be other "costs" or resource usages associated with reliably transmitting images, for example, a need to use various algorithms and/or processes. Other factors may limit the length of time an in-vivo sensing device may operate.

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Attorney Docket No.: P-6164-USP

[0005] There is a need to provide a longer period of operation to some in-vivo sensing devices. Further, in some cases, there is a need to alter the timing of the operation of in- vivo sensing.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] Various embodiments of the invention provide activity extending or delay mechanisms for in-vivo sensing. Various embodiments may alter the timing of the operation of in-vivo sensing or sensing devices.

[0007] Some embodiments of the invention provide, for example, an in-vivo sensing device which may allow a longer, improved, and/or extended period of operation for in- vivo sensing. In other embodiments, other benefits may occur.

[0008] In some embodiments, for example, an in-vivo sensing device may include a controller and/or a delay mechanism, which may delay and/or prolong the operation of the in-vivo sensing device and/or of components within the in-vivo sensing device (e.g., imager, power source, illumination source, transmitter, processor, or sensor). Such a controller or control capability may be internal or external to the in-vivo sensing device.

[0009] In accordance with some embodiments, for example, an in-vivo sensing device may be inserted to a patient's body (e.g., by swallowing a...