A U.S. company introduced a portable and compact magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system, which can be taken to a patient’s room and used through a regular power outlet.
Hyperfine, the developer, said it is the world’s first portable MRI.
The company showcased the portable MRI at CES 2020 held last week in Las Vegas, the U.S.
Without much space restriction, Hyperfine’s portable MRI moves to where a patient is near and plugs into a wall outlet. It uses 35 times lower power and 10 times lighter than existing MRI machines. The machine completes MRI scanning for a brain in five to 11 minutes, and the user can confirm the result immediately on a tablet PC or a smartphone.
|A user of Hyperfine portable MRI can check the MRI results on a tablet PC or smartphone immediately.|
However, the new product’s image clarity is lower than conventional MRI. Hyperfine Portable MRI offers 0.06 tesla, whereas MRI used for health examinations in Korea is usually 1.5 tesla.
The company had to lower the image clarity to reduce the size and increase mobility. Hyperfine set the price of the portable MRI at about $100,000, 20 times less costly than existing MRI machines.
Hyperfine said its portable MRI could be used in developing countries that have low access to MRI and in ships where existing MRI cannot be installed. The mobile MRI is also useful for triage patients in the emergency room and quick diagnosis and treatment, according to the company.
At CES 2020, John Martin, chief medical officer of Hyperfine, told Korea Biomedical Review that while it usually takes a long time for an urgent patient to earn MRI results, physicians can use Hyperfine’s product immediately and spot tumors that are at least 1 cm long.
|John Martin (left), chief medical officer of Hyperfine, explains the company’s portable MRI’s clinical value during CEO 2020 in Las Vegas, the U.S., on Tuesday last week. At right is Brian Welch, director of clinical science at Hyperfine.|
“By testing MRI and checking results quickly, physicians can make a fast decision on which measure a patient needs,” Martin said. “Not all patients can use high-imaging MRI. Hyperfine portable MRI is not trying to replace existing MRI machines but complements them.”
Brian Welch, director of clinical science at Hyperfine, said five U.S. medical institutions were verifying the clinical usefulness of the portable MRI and comparing its images with those of conventional machines.
“Radiologists who have used the portable MRI said they could earn clinically meaningful information,” he added.
<© Korea Biomedical Review, All rights reserved.>