For most of us, a doughnut hits our sweet tooth. But for doctors, it’s all about the sweet spot of medical imaging. The “doughnut” is the nickname for the round hole that a patient slides into as part of an MR (magnetic resonance) scan. Recently, there have been breakthroughs in making the doughnut bigger — now there’s new technology that changes where the doughnut is and tailors it for specific body parts.
The Optima MR430s, which GE Healthcare just introduced, is a leap forward in MR imaging because only the targeted anatomy goes inside the system. The musculoskeletal MR system delivers precise imaging of the arm, including elbow, wrist and hand, or the leg, including knee, ankle and foot, allowing a patient to recline on a comfortable padded and adjustable chair.
As you can see in the video clip below, a great example of how the scanner can be used is in sports injuries, such as football.
The technology, which is part of GE’s healthymagination initiative to bring better health to more people at lower costs, is also well-suited to those who have trouble being still — or feel claustrophobic — in larger MR scanners. A more comfortable patient is also less prone to accidental movement during the exam — which means images are likely to be even more clear and consistent.
The video clip below provides a look at what some initial reactions are from those who first saw the innovative design in non-hospital settings — from a “baby dryer” (we hope no one makes one!) to a futuristic “washing machine.”
In keeping with healthymagination’s goal to create more access to healthcare, one of the advantages of the scanner is that it can help alleviate the demand on a hospital’s full-body scanner. As an addition to a busy radiology department, the system can relieve patient backlogs to boost department efficiency. A small footprint allows for easy siting and lower installation costs, while the lightweight magnet fits through standard doors.
In addition, the healthymagination team just announced the launch of a partnership with renowned golfer and 2010 PGA TOUR player of the year Jim Furyk to educate people about injury prevention and the importance of optimal diagnosis using MR technology when injuries do happen. It’s part of GE’s recently announced partnership with the PGA TOUR to showcase healthymagination innovations on the course, through various media activities, and for audiences watching at home.
Click here to see a video of Furyk, who struggled with a wrist injury throughout the course of his career, talking about the Optima scanner.