Fruita’s Colorado Canyons Hospital is partnering with Matrix Analytics, a local healthcare services start-up, to help track and fight lung cancer before it spreads. 

“If you don’t have them, you can’t survive, but most importantly it’s the leading cause of death in America,” Colorado Canyons, Director of Radiology, Dr. Michael Neste, M.D. said. 

Lung cancer claims more lives each year than breast, prostate and colon cancer combined. 
“The main reason behind that is because by the time it is detected, with our current screening methods, it’s usually too late,” Dr. Neste adds. 

Matrix Analytics is now introducing LungDirect, a software program that will help detect and manage pulmonary nodules. 

“There is a big data requirement that Medicare is requiring hospitals for lung cancer screening to provide so we make that process easy,” founder of Matrix Analytics, Dr. Akrum (Aki) Al-Zubaidi said. “For a patient who has cancer, time is everything so what I’m hoping is that this technology gives patients more time.”  

Dr. Aki Al-Zubaidi says this program alerts providers, both internally and externally, when a nodule is newly detected, and helps to ensure each patient receives the appropriate follow-up care. 

“It has just been approved by the Center’s for Medicare/Medicaid to be reimbursed because studies have shown that it has been beneficial in decreasing deaths by lung cancer of up to 25 percent,” Dr. Neste said.

Although the program may be cost-effective solution for lung cancer screening reimbursement, Dr. Neste says it’s not for everyone. 

In order to be considered you must be referred by your primary care physician, be 55 to 77 years of age, have a tobacco smoking history of at least 30 pack-years, and be asymptomatic– meaning no signs or symptoms of lung cancer. 

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LungDirect software program will go live at Colorado Canyon Hospital on June 15, 2016.