RF localization for wireless video capsule endoscopy

K. Pahlavan, G. Bao, Y. Ye, S. Makarov, U. Khan, P. Swar, D. Cave, A. Karellas, P. Krishnamurthy, K. Sayrafian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


RF localization science and technology started with the global positioning systems for outdoor areas, and it then transformed into wireless indoor geolocation. The next step in the evolution of this science is the transformation into RF localization inside the human body. The first major application for this technology is the localization of the wireless video capsule endoscope (VCE) that has been in the clinical arena for 12 years. While physicians can receive clear images of abnormalities in the gastrointestinal tract with VCE devices, they have little idea of their exact location inside the GI tract. To localize intestinal abnormalities, physicians routinely use radiological, endoscopic or surgical operations. If we could use the RF signal radiated from the capsule to also locate these devices, not only can physicians discover medical problems, but they can also learn where the problems are located. However, finding a realistic RF localization solution for the endoscopy capsule is a very challenging task, because the inside of the human body is a difficult environment for experimentation and visualization. In addition, we have no-idea how the capsule moves and rotates in its 3D journey in this non-homogeneous medium for radio propagation. In this paper, we describe how we can design a cyber physical system (CPS) for experimental testing and visualization of interior of the human body that can be used for solving the RF localization problem for the endoscopy capsule. We also address the scientific challenges that face and the appropriate technical approaches for solving this problem.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)326-340
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Wireless Information Networks
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2012


  • Body area networks
  • Capsule endoscopy
  • Gastrointestinal tract
  • In-body radio propagation
  • Localization algorithms
  • Security and reliability
  • Sensor networks
  • Virtual visualization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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