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by John W. Mitchell , Senior Correspondent
CHICAGO — IMRIS may be the only company in health care with no competition - except for the inefficient process they work to solve.

“We’re the only ones who do what we do, we’re a disruptor,” Andy Flanagan, president & CEO told HCB News.

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According to Flanagan, what IMRIS does is custom design, create and support movable ceiling- and floor-mounted iMRI and iCT technology using a proprietary software to convince the MRI it is not being moved. The purpose is to allow surgeons at academic and other advanced facilities around the world to perform delicate neurological and brain operations that require images during the procedure.

The inefficient process the company works to solve is that moving a patient from an OR to an imaging suite is a serious violation of the surgical field. This creates a host of problems, not the least of which is putting the patient at risk of infection. It also creates inefficiencies in imaging operations at a time in health care when hospitals are under pressure to reduce operational costs and improve patient safety and outcomes.

IMRIS works exclusively with Siemens to customize its scanners for the task. Flanagan added that the intraoperative market value is $1 billion, with projected growth to $4 billion by 2025, which also includes floor-mounted, stationary intraoperative scanners. The company has 75 customers globally, including the Harvard, Yale and Duke health systems in the U.S. Some 40 percent of the patients treated in their intraoperative imaging suites are children.

“Everyone wants to avoid doing a second procedure on a child,” Flanagan explained. “But it’s important to determine before a surgeon closes on any patient if they got all of a tumor removed so they don’t have to go back in.”

In a press release, the company said the new TruSystem 7500 MR Neuro Surgical Table was designed with Hill-Rom for the MRI environment. It is designed for interchangeable tops and multi-disciplinary use. Full market launch of the table is expected in 2018.

According to Flanagan, the IMRIS design also allows the MR or CT to be stored in a separate room for use as a freestanding imaging suite. He said the average payback on investment for its clients ranges from two to four years.

“What’s different about what we do is we don’t just try and sell a hospital an imaging device,” said Flanagan. “We ask the hospital what problem they want to solve with intraoperative imaging, and then we work from there to design a solution.”

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