The Jewish Hospital – Mercy Health’s team of pulmonologists is using technology called robotic bronchoscopy that can aid in earlier and more accurate diagnosis of lung nodules.

Mercy Health Physicians and pulmonologists Mudher Al Shathir, MD, Daniel Murphy, MD, Jeffrey Bloomer, MD and Erich Walder, MD of Mercy Health – Kenwood Pulmonary and Critical Care have trained on Auris Health’s Monarch Platform and are performing their first cases with the technology.

Used to view the inside of the lungs and obtain a tissue sample for biopsy, the Monarch™ Platform enables earlier and more-accurate diagnosis of small and hard-to-reach nodules in the periphery of the lung.

“The Monarch goes where a regular scope can’t, reaching smaller and peripherally located nodules. It can also help us get a biopsy from nodules that would otherwise present a high risk for pneumothorax, or collapsed lung, using CT guided biopsy,” said Dr. Al Shathir, who performed the first Monarch case at The Jewish Hospital on March 2. “The previous diagnostic tool we had at our disposal can’t reach beyond the third or fourth generation of airways, while this robotic bronchoscope can reach up to the seventh generation and can see virtually even beyond the airways. Monarch’s flexible catheter and sheath can extend our reach and vision close to the pleural surface of the lungs, which can help us be more accurate in getting a diagnosis."

The technology integrates the latest advancements in robotics, software, data science, and endoscopy (the use of small cameras and tools to enter the body through its natural openings).

The Jewish Hospital is among the first hospitals in the United States to utilize the platform, which was recently cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide, in part because it has no symptoms in its early stages. More than 90 percent of people diagnosed with lung cancer do not survive the disease because it is often found at an advanced stage. There are a variety of diagnostic options currently available for lung cancer, but all have limitations in accuracy, safety, or invasiveness. These limitations can lead to false positives, false negatives, or side effects such as pneumothorax and hemorrhage, which may increase health care costs and extend hospital stays.

The Monarch Platform utilizes a familiar controller-like interface that physicians use to navigate the flexible robotic endoscope to the periphery of the lung with improved reach, vision, and control. Combining traditional endoscopic views into the lung with computer-assisted navigation based on 3-D models of the patient’s own lung anatomy, the Monarch Platform provides physicians with continuous bronchoscope vision throughout the entire procedure.

Mercy Health - Kenwood Pulmonary and Critical Care is located at 4760 E. Galbraith Road, Suite 206, Cincinnati, OH 45236. For more information, please call 513-791-4490.