by Brendon Nafziger
, DOTmed News Associate Editor | November 25, 2009
ONI Medical Systems announced last week it had completed the sale of its line of low-cost dedicated MRI scanners to GE Healthcare on Nov 6. The terms of the deal, first announced at the end of October, were not disclosed.
The purchase is primarily about MSK Extreme 1T and MSK Extreme 1.5T, two low-cost, fully open, dedicated extremity MR modalities intended largely for sports medicine or orthopedic offices, or to ease backlogs at major health centers.
"This technology is complementary to our existing portfolio, and gives us an opportunity to...increase patient access for claustrophobic patients," Arvind Gopalratnam, a spokesman for GE, tells DOTmed News. "[They] are the only high-field, truly open configuration extremity MR systems available in the medical marketplace."
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Along with the imaging platforms, GE will be acquiring the R&D team at ONI Medical, led by Dr. Peter Roemer, who won a Gold Medal for his research in magnetic resonance this year from the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.
Gopalratnam believes the purchase fits in with GE's "healthymagination iniative" -- the Fairfield, Conn.-based electronics giant's goal of increasing access to imaging technology by decreasing costs.
"ONI's products...[allow] clinicians the same diagnostic confidence for extremity imaging at a lower cost (when compared to a whole body MR unit)," Gopalratnam explains.
For now, ONI products will continue to be sold under the ONI brand, though in the future they will likely come under the GE Healthcare banner.