Siemens' Magetom Spectra (Credit: Siemens)

FDA clears Siemens' 'low cost of ownership' 3T MRI

July 24, 2012
by Brendon Nafziger, DOTmed News Associate Editor
A new 3-Tesla MRI scanner marketed as less expensive and more accessible to providers than most 3T units received Food and Drug Administration 510(k) clearance, Siemens Healthcare announced Tuesday.

The scanner, called the Magnetom Spectra, is pitched as a high-end device with a lower total cost of ownership, according to Siemens' promotional materials. The device uses less energy than other 3T MRIs and the magnet-cooling helium doesn't need to be refilled as often, as it travels in a closed loop to prevent gas from escaping, Siemens said in its press release.

"The Magnetom Spectra developed by Siemens is an MRI scanner that will enable many radiologists to utilize 3-Tesla imaging for the first time," Dr. Axel McKenna-K├╝ttner, a radiologist in Germany, whose clinic was evaluating the Magnetom Spectra, said in a statement in March, when the device was announced.

While the cost of the device was not disclosed in the release, the average price tag for a 3T MRI unit is about $2.4 million, according to a recent ECRI Institute report.

According to a product brochure, the Magnetom Spectra features 24 radiofrequency channels for up to 120 coil elements and a whole-body scan range of up to 205 centimeters. The coils are part of Siemens' fourth generation "Tim," or total imaging matrix, technology.