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The latest MR innovations entering the market

by Lisa Chamoff, Contributing Reporter | October 11, 2019
From the October 2019 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

“The best technologist and the night shift technologist will produce the same image quality,” said Michael Brandt, chief marketing officer for the MR business unit at GE Healthcare.

The company’s AIR Touch allows for improved scan setup, landmarking the anatomy to be scanned with a single touch on the patient table and allowing automatic selection of the appropriate coils, while AIR Touch uses coil infrastructure to find the best signal.

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“It reduces a lot of errors,” Brandt said.

GE also has begun offering a 1.5T upgrade program that allows its customers to replace some strategic hardware and software. There are also bigger upgrades that replace everything inclusive of a gradient coil, up to a Signa Premier system.

“A customer can very economically get an up-to-date imaging platform,” Brandt said. “We provide a range of upgrades that can suit every budget.”

Hitachi Echelon Oval
Over the last year, Hitachi has released its new Evolution 6 software, which offers an advanced metal artifact imaging technique that reduces metal artifacts from MR conditional implants.

“Before, we had the basic corrections,” said Scott Lytle, the senior MR product manager for Hitachi Healthcare Americas. “This is the latest and greatest for imaging close to metal. It acquires data over various frequencies, all added together to make one composite image, available in multiple weightings.”

Evolution 6 also offers quantitative susceptibility mapping, which calculates the susceptibility between tissues, allowing qualitative and quantitative analysis.

“It allows us to differentiate between calcifications and bleeding in things like brain tumors,” Lytle said. “Everything would be dark before. With this, the bleeding could be hyperintense and calcifications would be hypointense.”

The software is available for Hitachi’s Echelon Smart and Echelon Oval 1.5T scanners, and is coming soon to the Oasis 1.2T open MRI.

The scanners also offer SoftSound acoustic noise reduction that reduces scanner acoustic noise as much as 24 decibels for a whole exam, Lytle said. Additionally, SoftSound can be combined with motion reduction and parallel imaging techniques, as well as used for all the workhorse sequences.

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