MRIs Made With Patients In Mind

Breakthrough MRI technologies promise better quality images in a shorter span of time without compromising patient comfort.

AsianScientist (Jan. 29, 2019) – Getting a magnetic resonance image (MRI) scan can be uncomfortable—and possibly scary for those who are claustrophobic or highly sensitive to noise. As the machine produces loud banging noises and requires the patient to lay still for long periods to ensure image quality is not compromised, the experience can be daunting. Yet doctors continue to refer to these MRI scans as they provide excellent anatomical detail of soft tissues that are important during evaluation of specific conditions such as brain or heart injuries.

Taking into consideration the discomfort that these scans cause patients, health technology giant Philips has taken a more consumer- and patient-centric approach with their two latest MRI scanners. The new Philips MR Ingenia Ambition 1.5T and MR Ingenia Elition 3T promise speed and confidence, with the ultimate aim of helping improve patient care.

Less discomfort, more speed

Understanding the woes of patients and radiologists, Philips introduced a new acceleration technique called Compressed SENSE technology in both models, leading to a 50 percent reduction in examination time while maintaining image quality.

Philips also revealed their latest proprietary technology called VitalEye, which features an AI-driven analytics system for real-time patient sensing. VitalEye helps to monitor the patient’s breathing patterns and eliminate the need for uncomfortable respiratory belts. Together, Compressed SENSE and VitalEye increase the accuracy of real-time respiratory detection, allowing routine exam set-up time to occur in less than a minute.

Both the Ambition and Elition models offer Philips’ unique Ambient Experience and coaching guidance that immerse patients in relaxing audio-visual experience to reduce discomfort and stress – factors that usually affect scan quality. According to a study by the Herlev and Gentofte University Hospital in Denmark, the technology also helps to reduce the number of rescans by up to 70 percent, allowing radiologists to handle more patients per day.

Enhanced diagnostic confidence

To cater for different imaging needs, Elition 3.0T and Ambition 1.5T have distinct features. The premium Elition 3.0T model, for example, has the unique clinical features of 3D Amide Proton Transfer (3D APT) technology and a state-of-the-art Vega Gradients coil.

3D APT is a contrast-free brain imaging technique that uses the presence of proteins in cells to produce a signal that directly correlates with cell proliferation—a marker of tumor activity. This technology allows enhanced differentiation between low-grade and high-grade gliomas and monitoring of tumor progression after treatments, providing confidence in more challenging clinical indications such as the field of neuro-oncology.

The redesigned Vega Gradients coil has a high efficiency, requiring a low amount of power to deliver fast responses and speed of scans. This results in up to 60 percent increase in spatial resolution.

Combined with Compressed SENSE, these features increase temporal resolution in functional MRI (fMRI) studies by up to 23 percent and reduce response time in diffusion imaging—imaging that uses diffusion of water molecules to generate contrast in MR images—by 30 percent. These technologies make the Elition model ideal for clinical routine and oncology applications.

A step-up change in productivity

Ambition 1.5T’s operations, on the other hand, can be performed in a sustainable manner, taking advantage of its fully sealed BlueSeal magnet that reduces the need for helium—a natural resource that the MRI is dependent on for cooling and will run out in two to three decades.

“It really is a breakthrough for Philips to create this technology as the magnet only requires seven liters of helium for the whole service life of the machine,” said Mr. Suvendra Das, General Manager, Health Systems, Philips Singapore and Emerging Markets. “There is no need to refill the helium, as the system is completely sealed, making it a sustainable choice.”

The decreased need for helium also means that Ambition 1.5T is 900 kg lighter than its predecessor, facilitating flexible and low-cost installation and eliminating the need for quench pipes. The Ambition 1.5T also boasts an EasySwitch technology that will be able to restore MRI operations quickly if a foreign metal object becomes inadvertently stuck to the MRI machine.

Operations typically need to be stop for up to three days to restore the MRI scan in such situations. With EasySwitch, the magnetic field can be turned off and brought back into operation in less than a day. This innovation is the world’s first, and reduces potentially lengthy and costly disruptions, said Mr. Dominique Oh, Vice President of Diagnostic Imaging Business at Philips ASEAN Pacific.

“Both models allow us to speed up part of the imaging work flow so, we have more time to do advanced imaging, which is vital for difficult cases to make a better diagnosis,” said Dr. Maarten Lequin, a pediatric radiologist at University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands.

This article is intended for healthcare professionals only. The content may contain references to specific Philips products and services that may not be (readily) available in a particular country outside Singapore, Australia and New Zealand. Any such reference does not imply or warrant that any such products or services shall be available at any time in any particular country. Please contact your local Philips business contact for further information.

Asian Scientist Magazine is a media partner for the launch of Philips Ingenia Ambition and Elition.


Copyright: Asian Scientist Magazine; Photo: Philips.
Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.

Asian Scientist Magazine is an award-winning science and technology magazine that highlights R&D news stories from Asia to a global audience. The magazine is published by Singapore-headquartered Wildtype Media Group.

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