Developers create world’s first portable MRI machine

September 14, 2020

US-based healthcare technology manufacturer Hyperfine have developed a new point-of-care (POC) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system, claimed to be 20 times less costly, uses 35 times less power, and is 10 times lighter that current MRI machines.The groundbreaking machine effectively detected brain abnormalities in almost all 30 patients studied by Yale researchers – it was simply powered by a wall socket without deploying any protective measures in the surrounding environment.

The researchers also studied the neurological effects of COVID-19 in some other patients admitted to Yale New Haven Hospital’s intensive care unit. These patients were unable to be transported to larger MRI rooms for imaging due to the nature of severe COVID-19;however the new machine allowed for 20 patients to be investigated right by their bedside. Eight out of the 20 COVID-19 patients imaged showed acute neurological abnormalities associated with the disease.

Hyperfine stated that their machine is not designed to be a replacement for conventional high-field MRI imaging, but instead is intended to complement those diagnostic tools, especially for use in emergency situations or in remote environments.

Hyperfine even hypothesised that the machine could be integrated into ambulances for mobile patient assessments. This could potentially offer paramedics the ability to immediately diagnose stroke symptoms before a patient even gets to a hospital.

A short while ago, John Martin, Hyperfine’s Chief medical officer, said that the POC MRI opens up incredible possibilities that could never have been considered before: “Now, the cool thing is that when you get this in front of doctors, they look at it, they start thinking about all kinds of creative ways in which they can use that. The thought of this now being in a van floating around Africa, that’s a mind-blowing concept, no one would ever dream of that at all. That’s actually possible.”


Category: Features, Technology & Devices

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