From the September 2018 issue of DOTmed HealthCare Business News magazine
The trends in the MR space continue to center around increasing the speed of exams while maintaining image quality and ensuring patients are comfortable.
Manufacturers have developed and released new MR scanners and coils with those tenets of value-based care in mind. Scanners are getting faster and coils are becoming lighter, while accommodating patients of all sizes.
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A few of the releases and planned releases are carrying MR into the future, with the FDA approving Siemens Healthineers’ 7T scanner for clinical use and Philips developing a magnet that requires only 7 liters of helium.
Here’s our look at the newest MR products that have been released over the last year.
Canon Medical Systems
At last year’s RSNA, Canon Medical Systems released an upgraded version of its Vantage Galan 3T with what the company calls the XGO Edition.
The system has a higher gradient amplitude specification that increases the signal-to-noise ratio, including about 30 percent in the brain.
“In MR, signal-to-noise ratio is currency,” said Jon Furuyama, senior manager of market development for MR at Canon.
The system includes what Furuyama called multiband SPEEDER technology.
“A conventional MR gets each slice one at a time,” Furuyama said. “This technology allows you to acquire multiple slices at the same time, effectively cutting the scan time in half.”
The technology is especially useful for high-end neurological studies looking at connectivity in the brain, while on the clinical side the exams are used for surgical planning.
GE Healthcare's AIR Technology body coil
GE Healthcare continues to market its SIGNA Premier, a 3T wide bore scanner that received FDA clearance in August 2017 and that comes with a SuperG gradient coil that the company says delivers high-quality images while accommodating larger patients.
GE’s adaptive imaging receive (AIR) Coil suite, developed with highly flexible and lightweight material — 66 percent lighter weight than traditional coils with 50 percent reduced power consumption, according to the company — are designed for patient comfort.
“The AIR coil itself uses brand new technology that hasn’t been used in coils in the past,” said Eric Stahre, president and CEO of GE Healthcare MRI. “It conforms to the body of each patient and it’s very lightweight for technologists. They like the idea of positioning the coil on a patient like a blanket instead of body armor.”
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