Two medtech titans are teaming up to market a software GPS solution to detect lung cancer. Medtronic and Royal Philips announced the partnership and unveiled the jointly developed LungGPS Patient Management Platform earlier this week.
To date, lung cancer remains the No. 1 cancer killer in the world, accounting for more cancer deaths than breast, colon, and prostate cancer combined, according to statistics from the American Cancer Society.
“From my perspective, I think both organizations realize that more needs to be done to help transform lung cancer from a death sentence or deadly diseases, to something that is more managed to give patients more time and a better quality of life,” Matt Anderson, vice president, general manager lung health for Medtronic’s surgical innovations business, told MD+DI. “I think we recognize that clinicians need better tools to help in that effort.”
Medtronic and Philips said 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.
But the LungGPS Patient Management Platform could eliminate this issue, Medtronic said.
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.
“The software is designed to help ensure that when patients do have a scan that helps them reference a nodule, that it is flagged and is brought to the attention of an administrator of a lung nodule program,” Anderson said. “Making sure that no patients fall through the cracks is one thing that the software can help clinicians accomplish.”
Dublin-based Medtronic’s partnership with Philips should not come as a surprise. The medtech giant has been involved in several highly collaborative efforts throughout the past few years. However, these partnerships have mostly revolved around diabetes.
One of Medtronic’s most notable collaborations began about two years ago, with Armonk, NY-based IBM Watson Health. The two companies formed a strategic collaboration that would allow them to develop an alert for diabetes patients at risk for a hypoglycemi .
Medtronic also teamed up with Qualcomm Life to develop future-generation continuous glucose monitoring for people with type 2 diabetes in 2016. The collaboration could enable Medtronic to create more affordable, easier-to-use professional continuous glucose monitoring systems that feature a smaller sensor that provides both near real-time and retrospective glucose data.
Medtronic continued its focus on diabetes with yet another collaboration in the space—this time with connected health and fitness specialist Fitbit. The agreement paired Fitbit’s automatic activity tracking technology with Medtronic’s diabetes offerings. The collaboration could help provide meaningful insight into how exercise impacts glucose levels for more effective diabetes care management.
Philips has also been in some high-profile partnerships. In August of last year, the firm teamed up with Redwood City, CA-based HeartFlow with the goal of improving access to diagnostic and planning tools for interventional cardiologists evaluating patients with suspected coronary artery disease.
Through the agreement, Philips is promoting the use of the HeartFlow FFRCT Analysis diagnostics in conjunction with its advanced catheters.
Early last year, Philips joined forces with San Diego-based Illumina to offer integrated genomics solutions for oncology. The partnership would integrate Illumina’s sequencing systems for large-scale analysis of genetic variation and function and Philip’s IntelliSpace Genomics clinical informatics platform.