Development of Videoscopes

Video cameras drastically changed the concept of endoscopes

Development of Videoscopes

A videoscope (electronic scope) is an endoscope with a built-in video camera using CCD (charge-coupled device). It converts images into electric signal for display on a TV monitor. While only one skilled doctor at a time was able to observe the interior condition of an organ with the conventional instrument, the new device allows several doctors and nurses to examine the condition simultaneously as they watch the screen. Safety was also greatly enhanced with the fewer chances of oversight, as well as drastically improving diagnostic accuracy. In addition, the image-processing feature can make focal sharpness adjustments through electric signal control in order to highlight the lesion by boosting specific color signals for easier viewing. New features such as these have expanded the horizons of endoscopic possibilities still further.

Early prototype video endoscopic system

Emergence of ultrasonic endoscopes

Efforts to develop ultrasonic endoscopes - endoscopes with a transducer at its tip - were launched about the same time with the development of videoscopes. Ultrasonic endoscopes support examination of the surface of the gastrointestinal tract as well as the layers beneath it, thus enabling doctors to determine the extent to which a lesion or ulcer has penetrated into the stomach or intestine wall and whether a lymph node metastasis has taken place.

Thus, the endoscope began to assume a greater role as an instrument for clinical treatment rather than as a conventional examination and diagnostic tool only.

Early prototype ultrasonic endoscopic system