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These new MR features promise to help with the COVID imaging backlog

by Lisa Chamoff, Contributing Reporter | September 21, 2020
From the September 2020 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

MR Instruments ACCESS coil
MR Instruments
MR Instruments is planning to release its ACCESS head coil, a soft, flexible, open coil that conforms to the patient’s head.

The coil provides the image quality of a diagnostic coil, but its open design supports interventional procedures, said Tom Rheineck, the chief executive officer of MR Instruments.
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“Now you can access the skull with devices like lasers and ultrasound transducers,” Rheineck said. “Sometimes the nicest solutions are the simplest ones.”

The coil, part of the company’s DuoFLEX Coil Suite, is compatible with many 1.5T and 3T GE Healthcare and Siemens Healthineers scanners.

“If a customer has our DuoFLEX Suite they can add the plug-in,” Rheineck said.

The company is also working on delivering its first MR-guided focused ultrasound device for clinical research in neuro therapy, and has a license to use technology from Fraunhofer IBMT. The company showed the device as a work-in-progress at last year’s RSNA.

“This is a bigger market opportunity than receiver coils and provides avenues for substantial growth,” Rheineck said.

NeoCoil shoulder coil
The FDA recently cleared NeoCoil’s new 16-channel shoulder coil for use with 3T GE scanners.

The coil has a unique hybrid construction, with a posterior side that’s rigid and an anterior that’s completely flexible and allows for a more comfortable fit and a higher signal-to-noise ratio.

“Most are totally rigid,” said Dr. Steven Wolff, the owner of NeoCoil. “Now you can custom fit over a wide variety of shoulder sizes.”

The coil also allows for the abduction external rotation (ABER) view during MR imaging, when looking for rotator cuff tears.

“I don’t know of other coils that allow this,” Wolff said.

Through a separate company called NeoSoft, there was a new feature for their cardiac MR software, suiteHEART, called Virtual Fellow. Virtual Fellow uses deep learning to speed cardiac MRI interpretation. It automatically identifies and organizes images by type and view. It also presents images in a standard format and orientation, optimizing brightness, contrast and magnification. To facilitate visual comparison, images acquired with different techniques are displayed adjacently at the same absolute magnification.

Because Virtual Fellow operates without any user input, images are organized and analyzed before the physician reviews them, saving the physician valuable time, Wolff said.

“This replaces the need for having a fellow, hence the name,” Wolff said. “The radiologist can go through images more quickly.”

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