While the invention of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) revolutionized healthcare completely, bringing patients to the MRI scanners has always proven to be a challenge for health care staff.
Moreover, MRI scanners are always confined to specially built rooms to accommodate the massive components of these scanners.
However, this is about to change altogether as a New York-based company called ‘Hyperfine’ has acquired 501(k) clearance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the world’s first-ever portable MRI scanner.
The FDA accords the 501(k) clearance to those devices that demonstrate that not only are they effective, but they are safe for public use as well.
Hyperfine is an initiative of a Pakistani-American Radiologist, Engineer, Serial Entrepreneur, and Healthcare professional, Dr. Khan Siddiqui.
Here is the portable MRI scanner:
Comparison With a Regular MRI Scanner
Although the weight of the portable MRI machine is around 635 Kgs, it is almost negligible when compared to the 4,500 Kgs of a typical 1.5T MRI machine. A 3T MRI scanner weighs even more at 7,500 Kgs.
Here is the portable MRI scanner up against the traditional MRI machine:
What makes the portable MRI scanner really portable is the wheel array at its bottom. Anyone can maneuver the machine through the wheel array without having to push 635 Kgs from room to room.
Besides, Lucy point-of-care MRI – as the portable device is known – will consume 35-times less power than the traditional MRI scanner.
How it Works
Hyperfine’s MRI scanner can be plugged into a standard wall outlet and used in an instant.
The portable MRI scanner can be operated from a tablet. The images of a scan can be viewed on a phone and saved on to cloud storage.
Effectiveness of The Portable MRI Scanner
According to Hyperfine’s CEO, Dr. Khan Siddiqui, Lucy point-of-care MRI can effectively scan head, neck, and other extremities in any clinical setting.
It means that Lucy point-of-care MRI can be helpful in ICUs, emergency rooms, and hospitals that do not have the conventional MRI scanner at their disposal.
Hyperfine states that its machine will be available for $50,000, once it goes into mass production, which is 20-times cheaper than a conventional MRI machine.