Medtronic, an Ireland-based medical technology company, has launched a new version of its superDimension lung navigation system software.

The system provides a minimally invasive approach to access difficult-to-reach areas of the lung, allowing the diagnosis of lung diseases.

By using the patient’s CT scan, superDimension planning software generates a 3D virtual bronchial tree, which helps physicians to map pathways to reach pulmonary targets during the electromagnetic navigation bronchoscopy (ENB) procedure.

The virtual roadmap allows physicians to navigate and steer a catheter to the target quickly and accurately.

Once the target tissue is reached, physicians pass the new superDimension triple needle cytology brush through an endoscopic catheter to secure tissue samples from endobronchial lesions, peripheral lung nodules, or lung masses.

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"Improving chances to more easily identify patients at an early stage may bring a dramatic change in the societal impact of lung cancer."

Medtronic Early Technologies EMEA vice-president Bronwyn Brophy said: "This minimally invasive device helps physicians prepare for the most appropriate therapy depending on the stage of the cancer.

"Improving chances to more easily identify patients at an early stage may bring a dramatic change in the societal impact of lung cancer."

The company recently started a 2,500 patient, international study to evaluate the real-world impact of its superDimension navigation system.

The study is designed to support and validate the superDimension system, which the company hopes will become the global standard of care for obtaining lung tissue biopsies from the periphery of the lungs.

Medtronic Early Technologies president Chuck Brynelsen said: "These advanced tools and technologies demonstrate Medtronic’s commitment to expanding the specialised lung health products available to pulmonologists and thoracic surgeons.

"The continuum of care is the healthcare journey a patient takes from diagnosis to recovery. Our goal, across this continuum, is to diagnose earlier, intervene earlier, treat better and help patients recover faster."

In September, Medtronic acquired US-based medical device firm Lazarus Effect for $100m. Based in Campbell, California, Lazarus Effect is involved in developing acute ischemic stroke products, which facilitate the capture and removal of clots.

Image: Medtronic world headquarters in Fridley, Minnesota, US. Photo: courtesy of Bobak Ha’Eri.