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GE Innovations Make MRI Patient Friendly


Only the targeted anatomy – whether it’s an arm or a leg – goes inside the Optima MR430s system

Innovative design can make MR technology surprisingly more patient-friendly compared to traditional whole body systems. This is the case of the Optima MR430s*, launched today by GE Healthcare, an extreme leap forward in MR imaging because only the targeted anatomy – whether it’s an arm or a leg – goes inside the system, providing the patient greater level of comfort with the same high quality results.  Studies show that on average patients feel four times more comfortable1. These considerable differences in patient comfort, patient confinement and immobilization significantly improve the patient’s experience. It is the latest in a series of innovative health technologies that provide better health to more people through GE’s healthymagination initiative. 

“From start to finish, the scan was a piece of cake,” said Abigail Mentzer, ballet dancer with the Pennsylvania Ballet Company. “I popped into the clinic, sat in the comfy chair, stuck my foot in and read a book. Unlike the whole-body scanners, it wasn’t scary at all—it all was easy, simple and fast.”

The Optima MR430s is a musculoskeletal magnetic resonance system that delivers precise imaging of the arm, including elbow, wrist and hand, or the leg, including knee, ankle and foot. It is a small, efficient MR system featuring a high-strength 1.5T magnet that ensures uncompromised image quality and a compact design. The power of the system comes in a small footprint of approximately 222 square feet (20.62 square meters).

So how does this innovative design translate into benefits for medical professionals?

The innovative design of the Optima MR430s helps improve productivity by alleviating time-consuming tasks, such as positioning patients and managing their anxiety. Six iso-centric dedicated RF coils can accommodate a full range of patient sizes and anatomies. The system’s design also ensures that the targeted anatomy is precisely positioned at the magnet’s isocenter and coil proximity increases signal to noise ratio for high clarity—even in small anatomies.

The system helps 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, offering healthcare providers a smart investment at a low total cost of ownership. A small footprint allows for easy siting and lower installation costs, while the lightweight magnet fits through standard doors.

“Our goal is to guide our patients to the right MRI scanner for their needs,” said William B. Morrison, M.D., Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia. “For those patients who need extremities scanned, the first goal is comfort. The second is to keep patients still so we can get the best image consistency. The quicker the patient is in and out, the better it is for everyone. We’re assured that we get excellent quality images.”

Is this new MR technology comfortable for patients?

Unlike the awkward and uncomfortable positions sometimes required for extremity scanning in whole-body systems, patients can relax in a padded chair beside the scanner, reclining comfortably much like they would in a favorite chair at home. Yet the Optima MR430s features a high-strength 1.5T magnet that ensures uncompromised image quality.  And, because a more relaxed patient is less prone to moving around, the resulting images are likely to be even more clear and consistent.

Renowned Golfer Jim Furyk Educates About Optimal Diagnosis and Performance

In addition, GE healthymagination today 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. This is part of GE’s recently announced partnership with the PGA TOUR to showcase healthymagination innovations

1-. According to Radiology: Volume 251: Number 3—June 2009 Study measured relative comfort between conventional 1.5T system and 1.0T extremity scanner. “Four times more comfortable” as measured by confinement and immobilization.
*Trademark of General Electric Company