by Lauren Dubinsky
, Senior Reporter | September 24, 2018
From the September 2018 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
“One of our customers reported that [when they performed] MR heart exams lasting over one hour on children, they had problems getting the kids out after the scan because the movie hadn't finished,” Lie Omdahl added.
These kinds of tools have led providers to report reductions in aborted scans and less motion distortion on images, both of which contribute to efficiency and better outcomes. It also doesn’t hurt that technologists usually find these resources make their working day much easier.
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The FDA recently deemed MR audio equipment class II medical devices, which means they require regulatory approval. Spencer Howe, the president and CEO of MRIaudio, stressed the importance of providers ensuring the equipment has that approval before a purchase is made.
“The FDA considers an MR patient stereo a medical device because it touches the patient,” said Howe. “For the customers it is a huge liability if they are buying something that is not kosher.”
He explained that a lot of companies are flying below the radar since their MR audio equipment is not registered as a medical device. They will eventually get into trouble, but in the meantime customers need to protect themselves.
No matter which company a facility chooses, Howe recommended they call a couple of customers to find out if they like the equipment.
On their own website, MRIaudio boasts nearly two dozen happy testimonials from a wide range of customers, including Mayo Clinic and the University of Wisconsin.
“I think what people will find is that there is only a handful of decent systems out there – the rest of them are a joke,” he added.
Kill the noise
The noise associated with an MR exam is probably the single most highly cited aspect of patient discomfort, leading to communication problems during the scan, as well as difficulties with sedation and even hearing impairment. While audiovisual stimulation is an excellent method for obscuring the acoustic clatter of the magnet, scanner manufacturers are finding their own ways to quiet things down.
GE Healthcare’s Silent Scan technology brings MR scanner noise near background sound levels by minimizing changes in the current during the exam.