The focus on the sensor and analytic software is of course important, but the lens systems could use some attention too. Along those lines, I recently read about some researchers who created a method for making low-cost camera lenses with high magnification from the same polymer used to make contact lenses. Attaching such a lens to a smartphone turned it into a high quality microscope.
currently, there are several manufacturers of chip on a stick technology for endoscopy. Sony is not one of them. However of those few, only one has an actual digital imaging system, the others are analog. Recently a company in the US has introduced a high power illumination system and processing board for intense medical and industrial endoscopy using the digital chip on a stick camera.
It will be intereseting to see CMOS image sensor with image processing capability built into it. This can have direct USB type interface with H.268 and beyond output. With this, user needs to do very little selection and employ this device to resolve thier applications. This will be much more helpful to industrial user.