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MR technology is getting smarter, faster

by Lisa Chamoff, Contributing Reporter | September 10, 2021
From the September 2021 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

In July, GE Healthcare announced a collaboration with Spectronic Medical, integrating the company’s AI-based software, in combination with the AIR Recon DL technology, for more precise MR-only radiotherapy planning, with better soft tissue differentiation than traditional CT. Spectronic’s MRI Planner Software is CE-marked in Europe and 510(k) pending with the FDA.

In February 2020, the Hyperfine Swoop, the world‘s first portable MR imaging system, received its first FDA 510(k) clearance. In August 2020, Hyperfine received word that the clearance was expanded to include brain imaging applications for patients of all ages.

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The Swoop Portable MR Imaging System, with a 64mT magnet, has been deployed in North America and internationally.

Khan Siddiqui, Hyperfine chief medical officer and chief strategy officer, said that while the company thought they’d have the challenge of competing with high field scanners, they’ve found that using the portable scanner for inpatients increased outpatient utilization of high field scanners by 20%.

“MR is in short supply everywhere,” Siddiqui said. “The typical academic center performs 100 to 200 inpatient scans. This portable MR imaging system can free up high field scanners, plus there’s no need to transport patients with nurses and respiratory therapists and no risk to intubated patients.”

In January, Hyperfine received FDA 510(k) clearance for Advanced AI Applications, its deep learning image analysis software that measures brain structure and pathology in images acquired by the Swoop system.

There are nearly 50 Swoop systems deployed worldwide and 30 studies in the pipeline, according to Siddiqui.

Last year, Philips and Imricor Medical Systems announced a sales collaboration in Europe that provides Philips with nonexclusive rights to resell Imricor’s Advantage-MR System, which enables real-time MR-guided cardiac ablations.

In another collaboration, announced this past March, Philips teamed up with Disney to offer custom-made animations for Philips Ambient Experience, which projects images and movies onto a wall of the exam room, providing a more comfortable experience for patients.

“If patients are more comfortable, we have a large decrease in rescans,” said Arjen Radder, global business leader for MR, diagnostic X-ray and OEM at Philips.

The company also introduced two new upgrade paths to its Ingenia Elition 3T and Ingenia Evolution 1.5T scanners

“It’s all part of our philosophy that we can take our customers to the latest and greatest platform, including software,” Radder said.

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