A new robotic assistant will enable doctors to perform minimally invasive lung biopsies at MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center, MercyOne announced today. Called Ion by Intuitive, MercyOne Des Moines is one of only 30 medical centers in the country to use this technology. The Ion is an ultra-thin catheter that can move 180 degrees in all directors, allowing doctors to use the catheter to navigate through the lung to reach nodules in any airway segment. The robot’s flexible biopsy needle can also pass through very tight bends via the catheter to collect tissue in the peripheral lung, enabling a more precise biopsy and safer experience for patients, MercyOne said in a statement. The new machine is funded by the Campaign for the MercyOne Richard Deming Cancer Center.