The Hospital of Central Connecticut in New Britain is now using a new endoscopic technology known as the Monarch Platform, developed by Auris Health, that holds promise for earlier and more accurate diagnosis in patients at risk for lung cancer.

The Monarch Platform has been cleared by the Food and Drug Administration for diagnostic and therapeutic bronchoscopic procedures. This robotic navigational bronchoscopy technology gives doctors more precision and mobility to access and biopsy pulmonary nodules and diagnose them as cancer, infection or inflammation.

“Unfortunately, there’s a significant number of people who’ve never smoked a day in their life and still get lung cancer. It’s about 20 percent of our patients and this is a minimally invasive way of diagnosing those patients at a very early stage,” said Dr. Stefan Kachala, a thoracic surgeon at The Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute at The Hospital of Central Connecticut.

Dr. Kachala is the first person at Hartford HealthCare trained to use the Monarch Platform. The Monarch Platform allows a physician to use a device, similar to a gaming controller, to navigate the flexible, robotic endoscope with an attached camera all the way to the edge of the lung. It combines traditional endoscopic views into the lung with computer-generated navigation based on 3D models of the patient’s lung anatomy, and provides continuous bronchoscope vision throughout the entire procedure.

“I have more precision in my movements,” said Dr. Kachala. “We are able to diagnose early lung cancers using a safer and highly precise and accurate method.”

Dr. Kachala says a patient is put under general anesthesia before the procedure begins. Once the procedures is under way, nodules or other masses in the lung are located with the help of the robotic bronchoscope, and then biopsied.

“It allows us to then perform surgery or radiation in patients, who aren’t candidates for surgery, and treat the cancer,” Dr. Kachala explains.

The Monarch Platform was first used for navigational bronchoscopy procedures at The Hospital of Central Connecticut on July 7.

“There’s a big need in the central part of our state and the greater Hartford area for this cutting–edge technology,” said Dr. Kachala.

For more information on the The Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute at The Hospital of Central Connecticut, click here.