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OU Health imaging research institute will bring 7T MR to Oklahoma

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | December 12, 2023
OU Health
OU Health has become the first provider in Oklahoma with a Siemens Healthineers' MAGNETOM Terra 7 Tesla MR scanner, installed as part of a 10-year Value Partnership focused on enhancing statewide medical imaging and including the formation of a new imaging research center.

The machine, which is one of only five in the Midwest, will be located on the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences campus in Oklahoma City. Launched in 2017, it is the first FDA-cleared clinical 7T MR scanner and has a high field strength that enables clinicians to view extremely fine internal anatomical structures that cannot be seen with standard 3T systems.

Additionally, Siemens Healthineers has installed its Naeotom Alpha photon-counting CT platform, which also was the first of its kind cleared for use in the U.S. Photon-counting CT detectors measure individual X-rays that pass through a patient’s body, allowing the scanner to collect more detailed information and use the most relevant data to produce more accurate and clearer images. It also exposes patients to minimal doses of radiation and contrast.
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With these new solutions and Siemens Healthineers’ support, OU Health plans to create the OU Health Sciences Imaging Institute, which will serve as a prime location for conducting research and training in medical imaging.

“[This Value Partnership] will serve as a focal point for patients as we apply technology to conditions most affecting Oklahomans, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, neurological and lung conditions,” said OU Health president and chief executive Dr. Richard Lofgren in a statement.

At the institute, researchers will have access to diverse medical imaging modalities in their studies and collaborate to improve prevention, diagnostic, and treatment methods.

They also will train residents, health profession students, and graduate students across the OU Health Sciences campus on these solutions as part of an effort to recruit more radiation oncologists, radiologic technologists, scientists, and other medical imaging professionals to help reduce the ongoing shortages of these personnel.

OU Health will also leverage Siemens Healthineers’ mobile technology to perform preventive screenings and laboratory diagnostic exams in rural and underserved communities across the state. Among these solutions is the syngo Virtual Cockpit, which enables remote imaging specialists to guide community hospitals in complex patient exams, especially cardiology and neurological scans, regardless of their location.

OU Health did not respond to HCB News' request for comment in time for this publication.

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