World's first mobile MRI machine successfully tested on humans

Yale Hospital New Haven (New York, USA) announced the successful completion of the second phase of testing the POC MRI device - the world's first mobile version of the MRI unit. The device was used in an intensive care unit in a "dirty zone" with COVID-19 patients who were diagnosed with acute neurological disorders. The most interesting thing is that the MRI machine was simply brought there, like an ordinary wheelchair, so compact and comfortable it is.

Hyperfine presented its development last year. Unlike stationary devices, where the magnetic field strength reaches 1.5-3 T, a magnet is installed here at only 0.064 T. This made it possible to reduce energy consumption by 35 times and made it possible to connect the device to a regular outlet. It is ten times smaller than existing devices and proportionally lighter, which made it possible to make the device mobile.

Due to its low power, POC MRI is not positioned as a competitor to hospital MRI; instead, it will complement them. At a cost 20 times less, it becomes possible to install such equipment in an ambulance so that paramedics can conduct a scan right at the call site and confirm, for example, a stroke. Such a compact device does not pose a threat to the environment, so it can be safely moved along the corridors of the hospital in order to deliver directly to the bed of a seriously ill patient, which was done during tests with patients with coronavirus.

POC MRI showed its effectiveness already at the first stage of testing, when it detected tumors and abnormalities in 29 patients out of 30 with suspicions. Now experts are comparing his data with information from powerful stationary MRIs to determine the boundaries and accuracy of the diagnosis. Based on this information, instructions for the use of mobile MRI will be created, and next year the device will go into series.