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'Smart' electric endoscope being developed on island

TAIPEI -- Taiwan is developing a “smart” electric endoscope to provide more comprehensive health screening, the country's National Applied Research Laboratories (NARL) said Saturday.

NARL is working with the Kaohsiung Medical University Chung-Ho Memorial Hospital, Taiwan Surgical Corp. and Lumos Technology Co. to jointly develop the medical device, which the developers say can provide a complete image from a person's nose to his stomach.

A prototype of the 5.6-mm-diameter Smart Electric Endoscope is expected to be completed by the end of the year, said Tseng Shih-feng, a researcher at NARL's Instrument Technology Research Center.

It will take another two to three years to complete clinical trials and the required certification process before it will be commercially available, he added.

Once it goes on the market, the device is expected to produce an annual output of over NT$2 billion (US$67.4 million) for local component suppliers and processing manufacturers, according to NARL.

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