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Forecasting issues before they arise with MR remote monitoring

by John W. Mitchell, Senior Correspondent | September 19, 2018
From the September 2018 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

The Z-Pulse system, which tracks an array of MR vital signs, is compatible with iOS and Android.

Another MR monitoring system, tripwire, was first developed in early 2014 as a joint project of Simplexable and The JDIS Group. While the remote device reports more than 30 parameters, it concentrates on four key magnet metrics: helium level, shield temperature, compressor status, and magnet pressure for zero boil-off systems.

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“Magnet failures tend to escalate very rapidly in cost and consequence,” Clark Wilkins, managing partner at JDIS and principal at Simplexable, told HCB News. “We have easily saved our users more than $1.5 million in the last four years.”

As an example, he cited a case of a water chiller failing on a zero boil-off unit on a Friday evening, just after a clinic closed for business. Normally, he said, a technician would not discover the problem until Monday morning – when it would have necessitated a costly helium refill.

“In this case, we got a text message within 30 minutes of the failure and the repair was initiated immediately,” said Wilkins.

Hitachi Healthcare Americas has offered remote MR-monitoring for the past 12 years and continues today with its Oasis and Echelon platforms. Andrew McMayon, director of service, said their system monitors 100 data points. A national tech support department oversees that data and can immediately run remote diagnostics on the MR. If necessary, a service tech and parts can be dispatched immediately.

“All major manufacturers’ remote monitoring software provides similar system data,” he said. “We efficiently and effectively use the data to maintain our 99 percent uptime guarantee … on operating hours.”

Even though McMayon said that robust onsite manual monitoring is still necessary, they offer a vigorous performance standard.

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