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Philips and AGITO to showcase helium-free mobile MR at ECR

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | February 14, 2024
Molecular Imaging MRI
Philips' and AGITO's BlueSeal MR Mobile unit
Following its unveiling in the U.S. last fall, Philips helium-free mobile MR is coming to the 2024 European Congress of Radiology annual meeting, where BlueSeal magnet technology will debut in an AGITO mobile trailer.

Philips showcased the solution back in November at the Radiological Society of North America Annual Meeting in Chicago, where it discussed the 1.5T fully-sealed magnet scanner aboard. The technology allows scanners to be loaded with seven liters of liquid helium when first installed, instead of the traditional 1,500 liters, and never again requires refills, saving on downtime and cost. It announced that Akumin would be the first provider to receive such a machine.

Now, AGITO Medical, a Danish third-party provider of refurbished imaging solutions under Philips, is rolling it out across the pond. The company, which Philips acquired in 2018, has ordered five helium-free magnets, all of which will be installed in five rental solutions, and will showcase the technology aboard an AGITO Medical mobile unit at ECR.
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“The extension of this breakthrough technology in a mobile unit means Philips will be able to expand quality access to MR exams for more patients in more places across Europe, in a more sustainable way, with helium-free operations,” said Philips in a statement.

AGITO's rental solutions fleet consists of over 50 units, including mobile rental trailers and relocatable units from Philips, Siemens, GE HealthCare, and CANON/Toshiba, and other major OEMs. The company was founded in 2004 in Denmark to provide cost-efficient imaging equipment and spare parts and has since set up facilities in Spain, Germany, France, the Netherlands, and the U.K. It has over 50 employees and has been involved in more than 380 rental projects in 15 countries.

The helium-free solution can be set up in places where traditional mobile MR units cannot be, such as near a hospital’s main entrance, making MR imaging procedures more accessible for patients.

The BlueSeal magnet technology, which was released in 2018, has no venting pipe, making scanners lighter and more agile in terms of where they can be placed. It has saved more than 1.9 million liters of helium since its unveiling, according to Philips.

The mobile systems include the company's Ingenia Ambition 1.5T and MR5300 systems and connect with its multivendor, multimodality, virtual imaging system Radiology Operations Command Center. This securely connects technologists to remote imaging experts in real-time via audio, video, and peer-to-peer text chat capabilities.

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