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Siemens Healthineers aids Cardiff University in refining MR imaging, in vitro diagnostic protocols

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | November 06, 2023
Artificial Intelligence MRI
Siemens Healthineers and Cardiff University will work together to scale the potential of MR imaging and in vitro diagnostics.
Over the next ten years, Siemens Healthineers and Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC) will refine MR imaging and in vitro diagnostic technologies to help clinicians better understand complex anatomies and diagnose and treat neurological and psychiatric conditions earlier.

Using innovations in MR hardware, biophysical modeling, and acquisition strategies with AI, CUBRIC will create new practices for capturing "fingerprints" of tissue microstructure in health, developmental processes, aging, and various disease states, including dementia, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and schizophrenia. It also says that the integration of imaging and biochemical analysis will provide insights for diagnosing and treating cancer, infections, and immunocompromising diseases.

For this endeavor, the center will use its Siemens Healthineers’ 3T MAGNETOM Skyra Connectom MR system. The scanner is one of only four in the world that offers unparalleled gradient strength.
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“Through closer collaboration and shared objectives, we will push the boundaries of what can be achieved in magnetic resonance imaging, particularly in the realms of microstructural imaging, next-generation hardware, and the democratization of MR — providing low-, middle-, and high-income countries with remote access to our high-end scanners and all the data they produce,” said CUBRIC director professor Derek Jones in a statement.

The MAGNETOM Skyra Connectom MR scanner is designed for neurology, orthopedics, body imaging, angiography, cardiology, oncology, breast, prostate, and pediatric MR. The 70 cm open-bore system features GOBrain, which allows for push-button brain examinations in five minutes; Caipirinha, high-resolution 3D imaging that allows for shorter breath holds to reduce rescans; and a user interface integrated with DotGo solutions that enables intuitive protocol management, user guidance, and smart automation techniques to keep processes running.

Additionally, it has a Simultaneous Multi-Slice protocol for speeding up 2D exams and performing advanced neurological procedures that previously were not accessible in routine imaging. In addition to the scanner, CUBRIC hosts and works with an on-site Siemens Healthineers scientist on collaborative projects for refining medical imaging technologies.

Through the partnership, Siemens Healthineers says it will be able to scale research and development, talent, skills, and diversity, and work with other Cardiff partners, including the National Health System (NHS), to continue improving patient outcomes at lower costs and experiences, expand precision medicine, and digitize healthcare.

The Welsh government has made significant investments in its medical research landscape over the last year, teaming up with Siemens Healthineers in November 2022 to launch a new center of excellence at its Llanberis facility.

It also, earlier this year, proposed constructing a nuclear medicine laboratory in North West Wales to replace existing facilities in the U.K. reaching their end-of-life dates. The Welsh government says the facility will be a global center of excellence in nuclear medicine, supplying providers within the U.K.’s National Health Service with radioisotopes to diagnose and treat diseases such as cancer.

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