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Archived - Harper Government invests in medical imaging research at University of Saskatchewan

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Federal Investment Well Help Boost Commercialization and Bring New Products to Market

March 7, 2014 – Saskatoon, Saskatchewan – Western Economic Diversification Canada

Doctors may soon have much improved information on their patients' health thanks to new wireless video software and hardware used in electronic "pills". This technology was developed by the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) and commercialized with the help of $99,500 from Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) announced today by Brad Trost, Member of Parliament for Saskatoon—Humboldt, on behalf of the Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification.

WD's investment will help U of S engineering professor Khan Wahid and his team purchase equipment to develop and test the electronic pills, known as wireless endoscopic capsules, and optimize components to go into a new, high-performance endoscopy capsule and its supporting software and hardware. The U of S patent-pending technology will then undergo extensive testing and prototyping before taking the next steps to market.

Wahid's novel wireless image compression software and custom microchip solution offers superior images at increased rates of frequency, giving doctors much more information with which to make a diagnosis. Data from the capsule is transmitted to the patient's smartphone via a mobile device application and a SIM-card-sized adapter.

Applications of this innovative Canadian technology extend beyond the biomedical field and may also be used in the industrial, security and environmental sectors.

Quick Facts

  • The wireless endoscopic capsules contain a video camera, battery, light-emitting diode (LED) and a transmitter, all packed into a package about the size of a large vitamin pill.
  • Once swallowed, these pills transmit pictures of a patient’s intestinal system, providing doctors with invaluable information for diagnosing ailments such as Crohn’s disease, peptic ulcers or colorectal cancer.
  • The endoscopic equipment market was valued at $28 billion in 2013 and is expected to exceed $37 billion by 2018.


“Our Government’s investment here allows us to take research from the lab to the marketplace and into the hands of medical professionals. By doing so, we are helping to raise the quality of life for Canadians while accelerating innovation to create jobs and long-term growth.”

- Brad Trost, Member of Parliament for Saskatoon—Humboldt

“This research illustrates how innovation thrives in our university’s environment that fosters collaboration among engineering and health sciences. Today’s investment will help bring this promising new technology to physicians across the country and around the world, giving them a powerful tool to more effectively diagnose and treat their patients.”

- Karen Chad, U of S Vice-President Research

Additional Links


Rhonda Symko
Acting Communications Manager
Western Economic Diversification Canada
Telephone: 306-975-6980

Jennifer Thoma
Media Relations Specialist
University of Saskatchewan
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Telephone: 306-966-1851


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Teletypewriter (TTY): 1-877-303-3388
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