by Lisa Chamoff
, Contributing Reporter | September 10, 2021
From the September 2021 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
Deep learning has infused every aspect of medical imaging and MR is no exception.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is now being deployed for image processing and reconstruction, as well as disease detection. The idea is to speed up workflow as the COVID-19 has continued to impact imaging centers and departments.
Here’s a look at what’s new in MR scanners, software and coils.
Canon Medical Systems
For those who need to move fast and expand clinical capabilities -- and would love new equipment -- the uCT 550 Advance offers a new fully configured 80-slice CT in up to 2 weeks with routine maintenance and parts and Software Upgrades for Life™ included.
Last year, Canon Medical expanded its Advanced intelligent Clear-IQ Engine (AiCE) Deep Learning Reconstruction (DLR) from head and knee to all anatomies on its Vantage Orian 1.5T and Vantage Galan 3T systems.
The company asked its customers to take what it calls the AiCE Challenge to determine which images are from a 3T scanner and which are from a 1.5T with AiCE DLR applied.
“When the 1.5T images had deep learning reconstruction, it was very hard to figure out,” said Mark Totina, managing director of marketing for the MR business unit for Canon Medical Systems.
In December, the FDA cleared the integration of Canon's Compressed SPEEDER technology for 3D sequences on the Vantage Orian 1.5T scanner.
At the end of April, the company introduced its Vantage Orian Aero X 1.5T scanner, which includes the company's Pianissimo technology to deliver quiet scanning, and can be upgraded to include its AiCE algorithm.
Last year, the company introduced ForeSee View, which allows clinicians to preview their slice planning in real time.
Installations started last year for AIR Recon DL reconstruction software, which provides what GE says is the industry’s first MR image reconstruction using deep learning for all anatomies.
The software was cleared for 3T systems in April 2020, 1.5T systems in September 2020 and 7T scanners this past May.
There have been close to 300 installations of what Ioannis Panagiotelis, chief marketing officer for MR at GE Healthcare, says is “probably the biggest innovation that GE has come up with in 20 years.”
“What we hear from customers is that it enables them to deal with the compromise of scan time versus image quality,” Panagiotelis said.
There’s a 30 to 50% reduction in exam times with improvement in image quality, Panagiotelis said. Exams are easier to read, with less eye strain.
Panagiotelis said the technology has helped its clients, particularly those with older scanners, handle the COVID-19 backlog.
“There are many customers with more than 1,000 people on waiting lists,” Panagiotelis said. “They don’t have time to replace systems.”
In October of last year, the FDA cleared GE’s SIGNA 7.0T scanner. Considered the most powerful FDA-cleared MR system to date, it is designed to image anatomy, function, metabolism and microvasculature in the brain and joints.