Robotics to aid early lung cancer detection at Englewood Health

Doctors at Englewood Health in New Jersey are using the Ion endoluminal system from Intuitive Surgical to take tissue biopsies from the hard-to-reach outer third of the lung to identify early-stage lung cancer.


Robotic-assisted bronchoscopy offers stability and greater precision over traditional bronchoscopy, according to Dr. David Shiu, chief of pulmonary medicine at Englewood Health.

“With this technology, we can access lung lesions that were previously unreachable with standard bronchoscopy techniques,” he said in a statement on the health system’s website. 

The tool’s maneuverable catheter has an integrated vision probe that provides real-time visualization while navigating to the target.

According to Intuitive’s website, the tool integrates the Siemens Healthineers’ Cios Spin mobile imaging system that provides 3D scanning to a touchscreen surgeons can use during lung biopsies to refine navigation and verify tool-in-lesion.

Englewood Health was the first hospital in New Jersey to introduce robot-assisted spine surgery, the New Jersey Business Magazine reported last year.


Robotic-assisted surgery can improve patient outcomes, reducing incisions and minimizing tissue damage that can result in decreased post-operative pain and shorter hospital stays. 

The technology can give surgeons enhanced vision, precision and control, Brian Miller, Intuitive’s executive vice president and chief digital officer, told Healthcare IT News previously.

Robotics “enables a three-dimensional view of the procedure, the ability to use fluorescence technologies to see the surgical field in much greater detail and the very sensitive control of instruments to operate in tight spaces that traditional surgical instruments might not,” he said.

The technology may even hasten a future where robotic telesurgery is possible – if high-speed fiber optic communications can assure patient safety beyond the metaverse. 

In October, a surgical team in Singapore performed a remote gastrectomy on a patient over 3,107 miles away in Japan. Researchers from the recent telesurgery trial said the time lag was minimal and within acceptable industry benchmarks.

Miller also noted that robotic-assisted surgery generates surgical performance data that artificial intelligence and machine learning can leverage to improve efficiency and potentially, outcomes through enhanced surgical training.

“There are moments in procedures where choices need to be made quickly, and that’s the frontier where the most interesting AI pieces are seeing development,” he said.

Earlier this year, NVIDIA announced that Belgian urologists at Onze-Lieve-Vrouw Hospital used its real-time AI computing software, Holoscan, to remove a patient’s kidney during robotic surgery. The platform provided an augmented reality overlay of the patient’s anatomy from a CT scan to enhance the use of a robotic-assisted surgery using Intuitive’s tools.


“We’re entering a new era in lung cancer diagnosis and treatment with the introduction of robotic-assisted bronchoscopy,” said Dr. Christos Stavropoulos, director of thoracic oncology at The Lefcourt Family Cancer Treatment and Wellness Center and chief of thoracic surgery at Englewood Health, in the story. 

“This technology grants us unprecedented access to peripheral lung nodules, enhancing our ability to detect and combat lung cancer in its earliest stages, ultimately giving our patients a better chance at a healthier future.”

Andrea Fox is senior editor of Healthcare IT News.
Email: afox@himss.org

Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.

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