This month, we sat down with Body Vision partner and Interventional Pulmonologist, Dr. George Cheng.
After completing his MD Ph.D. at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and his residency fellowship at Israel Deaconess Medical Center at Harvard, Dr. Cheng now resides in Southern California where he teaches and practices pulmonology. Below, he shares his initial impressions of our advanced imaging technology and discusses some of the ways we are changing the future of lung diagnostics.
Body Vision: What initially intrigued you about the LungVision™ technology?
Dr. George Cheng: When you are considering the limitations of navigation bronchoscopy, CT-to-body-divergence is always an issue. Or rather, historically, where the navigation system tells you the nodule is, is not really where it is in the patient.
Up until now, there have only been a few options that provide real-time validation. Almost everything else on the market is virtual, lacking in real-time confirmation. Body Vision developed a new approach to navigation, focusing on streamlining the navigation process and most importantly, providing real-time confirmation of where the nodule actually is. The LungVision™ System addresses the problem of real-time confirmation and real-time guidance of navigation to the lesion of interest.
Tell me a little about your experience with LungVision™.
We have had the LungVision™ System in our practice for about a month and it certainly makes our job easier. It’s amazing to see in real-time where the lesion is, where the catheter is and how to adjust the catheter leading up to the lesion. Your system makes navigation fun! With the Body Vision system, we are able to get to very difficult lesions with a high degree of accuracy that has not been afforded to us before. Both my partners and I are impressed with the technology.
Now, having used the system, I feel, Body Vision has truly changed the landscape with this technology. Moreover, it’s unfair to call it just a “navigation technology”. I actually think that's misleading. It has an advanced real-time imaging component that offers much more than Navigation. I see what it does today, but it can do so much more in the future...
How many cases have you done so far with LungVision™?
My partner and I have done 16 cases so far and I feel comfortable on it. To learn workflow it takes 5-10 cases, I believe. For me, I am very happy with it because every single case I have done has been diagnostic.
Where do you see the most value in LungVision™ for Pulmonary practice?
This is the part where I believe it’s a misnomer for Body Vision to consider their system just as a navigation system. Truly, what Dorian and the Body Vision team have done is convert any C-arm fluoroscopy set-up into a CT scanner. I will be very interested to see what they can do with the next iterations of the technology because if you can give every single bronchoscopy suite a real-time, near-CT quality confirmation of the tool-in-lesion, you effectively change the entire dynamic of the market and pulmonary practice as it is today.
In its essence, LungVision™ is a disruptive imaging technology far beyond just the navigation. It is fantastic, what it can do!
For other doctors considering LungVision™, what advice would you give them?
There is a learning curve, and we are actively studying and measuring that curve. Generally speaking, it is important not to give up when dealing with new technologies and it’s important to not approach this thinking it’ll change your practice overnight.
It’s also important not to only completely rely on technology. You’ve got to know your airway anatomy, navigation techniques and be able to translate that from one platform to another. Think of Body Vision as a way to push your current bronchoscopy limits out to the periphery of the lung, enabling you to approach and sample small nodules.
What do you think the potential is for this technology in the future?
Body Vision challenges two separate industries. It challenges the imaging industry, and it challenges the navigation industry. I think people should pay close attention to Body Vision because it’s one of those unique technologies bridging two separate modalities of the industry--both imaging and device navigation. This is a game-changer. I see very few technologies like that.
For Body Vision, the true potential is delivering a platform that is readily available in every bronchoscopy suite that can effectively function as a CT scanner.
If you’re interested in acquiring an advanced bronchoscopy platform for your practice, there are a few fundamental questions you should ask yourself before making the choice. Be sure to read our recent blog on Determining the Success of a Navigation System.