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RiverBend is first hospital in the Pacific Northwest to use Monarch™ robotic technology to diagnose lung cancer

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Dr. Karthik Mahadevan uses the Monarch Platform for lung cancer diagnosis at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. – Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide, in part because it shows no symptoms early on and by the time it is diagnosed it has spread to other parts of the body. More than 90 percent of patients diagnosed with lung cancer do not survive the disease.

To improve the outlook for our lung cancer patients, PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend is embracing innovative technology.

“RiverBend is proud to be the first medical center in the Pacific Northwest to use the Monarch™ Platform to enable earlier and less invasive diagnosis of lung cancer,” said Todd Salnas, chief operating officer for PeaceHealth’s Oregon network. “This latest addition to RiverBend’s suite of robotic tools underscores PeaceHealth’s commitment to finding new ways to diagnose and treat illness to better serve our patients and communities. Our commitment to innovation has remained steadfast even through the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

The Monarch at RiverBend is the first in Oregon, Washington and Idaho, and one of 60 in use throughout the United States, according to the manufacturer Auris Health, which is based in Redwood City, Calif.

“Detecting and diagnosing lung cancer early is critical to improving survival,” said Dr. Karthik Mahadevan, with Oregon Lung Specialists LLC, who will start using the Monarch system on Tuesday, Oct. 27, in RiverBend’s endoscopy suite.

“Traditionally, lung cancer has been diagnosed using standard bronchoscopes, needle aspiration or surgery, but those methods have limits due to accuracy, safety or invasiveness,” he said. “The Monarch system enables an earlier, less-invasive diagnosis and a more hopeful future for our patients.”  

Cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2018, the Monarch Platform blends 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.) 

Medical images of the patient’s lungs are loaded into the Monarch’s planning software to chart a path to a potentially malignant nodule. The physician then uses a controller-like device to navigate a flexible robotic endoscope through the patient’s throat and into the lungs to obtain a tissue sample for biopsy. This technology can locate even hard-to-reach nodules in the outermost branches of the lungs. During the entire procedure, images captured by a tiny camera on the tip of the endoscope are displayed on a screen to help guide the physician.  Watch this video to better visualize the technology.  

About PeaceHealth: PeaceHealth, based in Vancouver, Wash., is a not-for-profit Catholic health system offering care to communities in Washington, Oregon and Alaska. PeaceHealth has approximately 16,000 caregivers, a group practice with more than 900 providers and 10 medical centers serving both urban and rural communities throughout the Northwest. In 1890, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace founded what has become PeaceHealth. The Sisters shared expertise and transferred wisdom from one medical center to another, always finding the best way to serve the unmet need for healthcare in their communities. Today, PeaceHealth is the legacy of the founding Sisters and continues with a spirit of respect, stewardship, collaboration and social justice in fulfilling its Mission. Visit us online at