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Forecasting issues before they arise with MR remote monitoring

by John W. Mitchell, Senior Correspondent | September 19, 2018
From the September 2018 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

The company offers OnWatch for continuous monitoring of critical MR components, such as magnets, surface coils, console and environmental factors including temperature using data-predictive tools. GE also offers more advanced metrics, ranging from image quality to patient comfort and monitoring such parameters as coil signal-to-noise ratio, biasing and room noise.

When Hurricane Harvey hit the U.S. in 2017, GE was able to remotely set 49 at risk MR magnets to very low, one pound force per square inch before the storm hit, according to Bellinger. Doing so helped providers cut problems off at the curve and avoid unnecessary downtime.

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Currently, more than 85 percent of Philips MR units are connected to its analytics platform, according to Martijn Hartjes, head of global MR marketing at Philips, and roughly one in ten service events across their MR, CT and interventional X-ray portfolio are resolved without disturbing the customer’s clinical workflow – a ratio that he noted is increasing every year.

“We’re seeing a shift from reactive to proactive maintenance, leading to a reduction of unscheduled downtime, maximizing system uptime, and availability," Hartjes said. "Remote capabilities lead to a faster response to problems when they do arise, due to advanced remote diagnostics, remote resolution, and ‘first-time fix' support.”

ColdTRAC automatically notifies users, as well as BC Technical
engineers, when a given MR parameter exceeds specifications
Through its e-Alert platform, Philips analyzes several critical MR parameters including helium level, magnet pressure, cryo-compressor status and image quality. In the event of a problem, client facilities can choose to be notified by email, text message or as part of a local alarm system.

By monitoring the voltages on the different digital coils connected to the different table connectors, Hartjes said e-Alert can distinguish between a defective coil and a faulty power-supply or table-connector. That means knowing when you can replace a specific failing component, rather than an entire part or system.

For Cool Pair Plus (CPP), predictive analytics have become a crucial component in equipment life cycle management. “The ability to store data for extended periods of time allows customers to predict failures more accurately and schedule preventative maintenance,” said Richard Branca, director of sales at the company.

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