SEARCH
Current Location:
>
> This Story

starstarstarstarstar (1)
Log in or Register to rate this News Story
Forward Printable StoryPrint Comment

Never Miss a Story

Sign up for email alerts

 

More Industry Headlines

Hackers stole data from 4.5 million patients Data security breaches are a big issue in U.S.

GE Healthcare Life Sciences moves to Massachusetts $21-million-dollar facility to open in the spring

New imaging system monitors treatment in real time Improves quality of life and life span for cystic fibrosis patients

People want dementia diagnosed despite no cure New GE research shows worldwide consensus

ECRI founder and emeritus president passes away Dr. Joel Nobel dies at 79

Technique improves treatment of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Uses acoustic pressure from ultrasound

Siemens' new CT algorithm gets FDA nod Improves reconstructed image quality

NorthStar will supply GE with Mo-99 Only U.S. domestic supply

Home infusion pump market is set to grow Expected to reach $26.7 billion by 2020

Intel and MJFF team up for Parkinson's disease Leveraging wearable devices and big data

GE sets sights on MRI helium conservation

by Brendon Nafziger , DOTmed News Associate Editor

In addition to the 5 million liters used in production, roughly 6 million liters are also used in maintenance of devices already in hospitals and clinics.

Jarvis said newly installed magnets need to be "topped up" with a couple of hundred liters of helium that are lost during transit (the longer the transportation, the more helium is evaporated). However, thanks to technology developed over 15 years ago, modern magnets generally don't need routine helium infusions, Jarvis said.
Story Continues Below Advertisement

We want to buy your Siemens Symphony or Avanto MRI -- today!

Top Dollar Paid, Fixed or Mobile. Call our Siemens Specialist for a Quote today -- 212-558-6600 Ext. 250 DOTmed Certified




Zeroing in

Routine helium infusions are unneeded because in the late 1990s, GE introduced so-called zero boil-off technology to its MRIs, Jarvis said. In this, helium that evaporates from heat in the magnet is recondensed and returned to the system.

"It stays as a closed cycle system. No helium is required to be added," Jarvis said.

By 2004, GE was selling exclusively zero boil-off technology MRIs, Jarvis said. However, even these "zero boil-off" magnets might need occasional small amounts of helium when the coldhead compressors, used to recondense the gas, are serviced every couple years. They can also need substantially more helium if a power outage causes the cooling systems to crash, resulting in larger boil-offs. This is a danger that besets magnets in countries with less reliable electricity delivery services, Jarvis said.

Also, not all MRIs in operation today were built post-2004. Many "legacy" machines are still working, either in their original place of installation or having been resold to a new buyer, often in another country. Jarvis estimates maybe 20 percent of systems are running with the pre-zero-boil-off technology.

"Old magnets simply never die," he jokes.

Conservation efforts

In his testimony, Rauch said GE has invested about $1 million in technology in its factory to bolster helium recycling and conservation. One investment was in recapturing equipment, used to snag helium lost in the manufacturing process, which is then recompressed and sold back to the gas suppliers at the factory.

Jarvis said the company's also working on proprietary efficiency-boosting techniques. For instance, workers might pre-cool a magnet with liquid nitrogen, which is cheaper and easier to get, before filling it with helium. He said they have also been running computer dynamic fluid simulations to study how liquid helium is transferred and used, and have committed some engineering know-how to improving the transfer lines from the tankers to the magnet.

"The transfer lines can be heavily optimized, in terms of material construction, control systems, to best match them to the end vehicle, the magnet that's receiving the helium," he said.

Continue reading GE sets sights on MRI helium conservation...
<< Pages: 1 - 2 - 3 >>

Related:


Interested in Medical Industry News? Subscribe to DOTmed's weekly news email and always be informed. Click here, it takes just 30 seconds.
(229)
(9)
(133)

Marshall Shannon

They can also need substantially more helium if a power outage c

May 17, 2012 10:41

This allows these magnets to consume more than a NON-ZERO boil off system. As during outages the usage is 10-40% more loss than any magnet on the market.

GE does a GREAT job when all systems are 100% but power outages do happen.

A normal system loses power for a 3 day weekend and they lose 3-8% so on Monday you have a big loss and some emergency planning.

On a GE Zero, that same 3 day weekend may cost you up to 20-30% and possibility a quenched magnet by the time monday rolls around so GE systems DO require DAILY MONITORING to catch failures fast, even if that monitoring system costs in excess, the potential risk without it exceeds any cost it may have.

Log inor Register

to rate and post a comment

You Must Be Logged In To Post A Comment

Access and use of this site is subject to the terms and conditions of our LEGAL NOTICE & PRIVACY NOTICE
Property of and Proprietary to DOTmed.com, Inc. Copyright ©2001-2014 DOTmed.com, Inc.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED