Northside is first in Atlanta to use Monarch™ robotic technology to diagnose lung cancer

Northside Hospital Atlanta has introduced a new bronchoscopy robot that aims to diagnose lung nodules and potential cancer earlier and more-accurately.

Auris Health’s Monarch™ Platform 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) to help enable earlier and more-accurate diagnosis of small and hard-to-reach nodules in the periphery of the lung.

More than 6,700 new cases of lung cancer are expected to be diagnosed in Georgia in 2021, according to the National Cancer Institute. When found at advanced stages, the five-year relative survival rate is 6.3%.

According to a report in JNCI: The Journal of the National Cancer Institute, there has been a rapid decrease in lung cancer deaths in recent years due in part to increased access to screening tools that detect lung cancer earlier, when it is more treatable. 

With the increase in lung cancer screening, the number of potential new lung cancers that need diagnosis has grown exponentially, says Dr. Venkatesh Lakshminarayanan, pulmonologist and medical director of Northside Hospital’s Interventional Pulmonology Program. Smaller, more peripheral nodules have also arisen, he adds.

Northside is the first hospital in Atlanta to utilize the Monarch Platform. Physicians at the hospital performed their first case with the technology on July 23. 

"This technology allows for minimally invasive biopsies while being able to maintain direct visualization and control even to the smallest potential cancers,” said Dr. Lakshminarayanan. 

"Robotic bronchoscopy is the next stage in being able to biopsy and stage lung cancers in a safe and timely way,” Dr. Lakshminarayanan adds. “It is an evolving field that provides new opportunities for rapid diagnostic and potential therapeutic options in lung cancer." 

Monarch 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 3D models of the patient’s own lung anatomy, the platform provides physicians with continuous bronchoscope vision throughout the entire procedure. 

Learn more about lung cancer care at Northside Hospital. 

If you are a provider and have a patient to refer to the Northside Hospital Interventional Pulmonology Program, please contact our Nurse Navigator at 404-851-6268.


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Dr. Venkatesh Lakshminarayanan picture

Dr. Venkatesh Lakshminarayanan

Specialties: Pulmonary and Critical Care, Pulmonology

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Dr. Lakshminarayanan is the director of the Interventional Pulmonary Program at Northside Hospital. His interests in pulmonary medicine include asthma, occupational lung disease and interstitial lung diseases. He is skilled in various pulmonary procedures including flexible bronchoscopy, bronchoscopy with endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) and placement of PleurX drainage catheters drainage of recurrent pleural effusions.

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