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Exclusive: Siemens Healthineers unveils new helium-free MR scanner

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | February 28, 2024
MRI
1.5T Magnetom Flow
Siemens Healthineers has kicked off the European Congress of Radiology annual meeting by unveiling a virtually helium-free MR scanner, Magnetom Flow, a 1.5 Tesla solution requiring no quench pipe.

Like its predecessor, the 0.55T Magnetom Free.MAX scanner, Magnetom Flow operates with 0.7 liters of helium instead of the standard 1,500 used by traditional scanners. The scanner, which weighs less than four tons, has a 24-square-meter footprint.

The scanner is equipped with AI to speed up scans and enhance image quality. Its automation capabilities cut more time and simplify complex workflows to improve user experiences for both highly qualified and new technicians.
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“Compared to the average predecessor in the field, we expect the scanner to consume 30% to 40% less electricity and energy. That, of course, helps for sustainability but also reduces the bill for our customers,” Andreas Schneck, executive vice president of magnetic resonance at Siemens Healthineers, told HCB News in an exclusive interview prior to the unveiling.

Its eco gradient mode allows the scanner to switch off components that consume large amounts of energy, and its eco power mode and helium-free technology save a further 30% in cooling capacity overnight, making it one of Siemens Healthineers’ most sustainable MR systems. An auto-recovery function allows the system to ramp down during power outages and then automatically ramp back up when power is restored.

“We believe that it helps our customers over the life cycle to optimize cost with our scanner. 1.5 Tesla is the predominant true strength in the market. It's a scanner that also fits well into academic institutions, and it’s a scanner that fits perfectly into an outpatient imaging facility and also into a smaller hospital out there in the countryside,” said Schneck.

The scanner is geared toward parts of the world where 60-centimeter bore sizes are standard. For the U.S., where 70 centimeters is the standard, the company plans to develop a version that meets this criterion, but says it does not have one yet.

Magnetom Flow is still under development and not yet commercially available.

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