Medtronic and Royal Philips have partnered to develop and commercialize the LungGPS patient management platform.

The comprehensive patient and data management platform is designed to streamline the management of lung nodule patients from identification through diagnosis, treatment, and long-term survivorship.

Lung cancer remains the number one cancer killer in the world, accounting for more cancer deaths than breast, colon and prostate cancer combined. In its early stages, lung cancer presents few, if any, symptoms.

 Lung nodules, also referred to as "spots" or "shadows" on the lung, are usually benign. But when found early, nodules can be continuously monitored for growth, which is a sign that the nodule could become cancerous.

When lung nodules are found, the lack of infrastructure, coordination and capacity to manage identified patients in a timely manner can lead to delays in diagnosis and treatment. Studies demonstrate the majority of patients with incidental nodule identification don't receive appropriate follow up.They often go home either unaware of the issue or the importance of action.

Together, the companies' early commercialization efforts will provide multiple solutions that focus on integrating hospital data, patient management, and clinical workflows. The LungGPS platform is designed to make it easier for clinicians to identify and manage patients with incidental pulmonary nodules within disparate hospital information systems.

The LungGPS platform uses:

Natural Language Processing – a type of artificial intelligence technology that quickly searches and analyzes data contained within various medical reports, and highlights relevant information for further review and follow up.

Philips' market-leading Lung Cancer Screening Solution – a software system that automates routine administrative tasks and standardizes clinical workflows for optimized efficiency and patient care.

Once a lung nodule patient is identified, the software helps guide those patients into an appropriate clinical workflow – allowing for quick evaluation of those who may be at risk of lung cancer and effective and efficient management of those that require long-term surveillance.

Matt Anderson, vice president and general manager of Lung Health, which is part of the Surgical Innovations division in the Minimally Invasive Therapies Group at Medtronic, said: "Lung cancer rates haven't changed much over the past three decades. The current management of incidental lung nodule tracking is a very manual process, one that includes spreadsheets or post-it notes or no active management at all. It's time we think differently about how we're going to tackle this disease, and bring lung healthcare into the twenty-first century.

"No one single company can tackle this alone and through our collaboration with Philips, we have the opportunity to help achieve better outcomes for these patients – using technology to promote integrated care."

Philips head of oncology solutions Brent Berthy said: "Early identification and prompt, appropriate management of pulmonary nodule patients has been proven to improve clinical outcomes. Developing technological solutions to enable our customers to do this quickly, efficiently and consistently continues to be our focus and we're excited about the expanded possibilities through our new collaboration with Medtronic.

"The combination of our collective capabilities in imaging, informatics and image-guided intervention has the ability to make a meaningful, positive impact on patient care, clinical outcomes and survivorship."