SARASOTA- Sarasota Memorial Hospital unwrapped a new lung cancer fighting robot ahead of Christmas. The new Monarch Robot might be operated by a video game controller, but doctors aren’t playing any games.

“The robotic bronchoscope is actually going to be a game changer,” Dr. Chomiak Said. “In terms of how we manage or patients, how we diagnose our patients.”

Currently doctors use virtual navigation bronchoscopy, and that has it’s limitations.

“Because we actually couldn’t see directly what we were biopsy-ing,” Chomiak said. “We had to rely on a computer generation on a computer screen to do so.”

The new monarch robot will send a small camera down into the lungs .

“We make a map of the chest using a catscan,” Interventional Pulmonologist Dr. Joseph Seaman said. “And we plug in an address much like you do on your cell phone, and then you follow them to the nodule.”

This allows doctors to actually see the nodule they are biopsy-ing so they get more accurate results.

“The bronchoscope is so small that in many cases we will be able to see the peripheral or the legion on the outside of the lung,” Seaman said. “And then be able to take a series of biopsies directly.”

Being able to test smaller nodules will help doctors find a diagnose lung cancer sooner.

“It’s going to allow me the opportunity to try to cure these patients,” Dr. Chomiak said. “Much earlier into their stages of cancer, in someone who otherwise may not have any symptoms, or not even know they have a malignancy.”

Sarasota Memorial Hospital is one of just 14 hospital nationwide with the new robot, and doctors will begin using it at the end of January.