Innovative health technologies to help patients

More than 5,000 programs were executed.

An innovative procedure that speeds cancer diagnosis has now reached more than 5,000 patients.

The launch of the Cell Sponge Diagnostics service during the pandemic means patients can have cancer screenings close to home, helping to reduce pressure on medical services.

Using cytosponge means that patients can get range results by simply swallowing a small pill with a thread, rather than using traditional range methods and sedatives. When the pill is swallowed, it expands into a small sponge that pulls it back into the esophagus, collects cells on the way, and then checks for abnormalities. Cytosponge helps identify important conditions such as Barrett’s esophagus, a known risk factor for esophageal cancer.

The procedure is supported by the NHS Golden Jubilee Centre for Sustainable Delivery (CfSD) and has now been used 5,036 times in Scotland (as at 3 November 2022).

Health Minister Humza Yousaf said:

“The cellular sponge is a great example of innovative technology that can get people to services faster and closer to home. It helps deliver better outcomes for patients while also reducing the pressure on our hospitals. This That’s why I’m glad to see it being used so widely.

“Cytosponge provides a simpler alternative to endoscopy procedures that only take about 15 minutes. Compared to endoscopy, it is a simpler, more patient-friendly test that can diagnose patients with Patients at risk for precancer or early-stage cancer without them having to undergo more invasive surgery.

“Using this new technology means we can help address the waiting lists for endoscopy procedures that have arisen during the pandemic.”

Professor Jann Gardner, chief executive of NHS Golden Jubilee, said:

“In these challenging times, we must improve the patient experience, facilitate targeted treatment and improve long-term outcomes through faster diagnostic imaging. This cutting-edge technology has helped NHS Scotland advance cancer diagnosis and has helped more than 5,000 patients Provide direct benefit.

“Cytosponge provides a better and more comfortable experience for patients, and we look forward to ensuring more people are treated this way as we continue to help meet the diagnostic needs created by the pandemic.”


Unlike endoscopy procedures, in which clinicians use a long, thin hose with a light and camera on one end to examine internal organs, cellular sponges are an aerosol-generating procedure (AGP) that can be used in traditional hospital settings. outside, such as community health centers or general outpatient clinics.

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