One day after announcing a new cost-effective 1.5 T Magnetom Essenza MRI
, Siemens has initiated a clever marketing strategy to bring attention to its product.
One small hospital in the US, currently without an MRI, has a chance to win the system by producing a short video on why they want the scanner, and entering it in the contest held over at WinAnMRI.com
. The video with the most votes wins. So, whether you want to watch a bunch of amusing videos, or you want to side with your local hospital, head on to the website and vote.
(hat tip: WSJ Health Blog
More about this MRI: ESSENZA 1.5 Tesla
Magnetom Essenza is a powerful and low-cost system that supports the clinical and financial success of its users. In addition to the low initial investment, savings of up to 25% can also be attained on installation costs for space, power requirements and construction. In part this is due to the light-weight 3.5 ton magnet, which even makes it possible to install the Magnetom Essenza on higher floors. If the system is replacing an existing MR system, it can reduce energy consumption up to 50% thanks to its high-performance electronics. Since the state-of-the-art magnet has zero helium boil-off, there is no need to regularly refill this expensive substance, and the system is always ready for operation.
Thanks to its powerful gradients (30mT/m), the new member of the Magnetom family delivers superior image quality for all clinical applications. Using Tim technology with Magnetom Essenza, the area of the patient to be examined can be covered with up to 25 seamlessly integrated coil elements that are read by 8 independent radiofrequency channels. Tim allows for flexibly combining up to four different coils, which make patient and coil repositioning virtually unnecessary. Tim also enables Parallel Imaging for reduced acquisition times. All of these benefits translate into workflow improvements as well as increased patient throughput, not to mention improving the profit situation. As an example, a complete examination of the entire central nervous system can be performed in less than ten minutes.
Another powerful new innovation is the IsoCenter Matrix coil. It is permanently positioned at the isocenter of the magnet and therefore always in position, ready to scan. The advantage: the user does not need to carry large, heavy spine coils any more and the patient preparation time is shortened. Additionally, by ensuring the correct positioning of the coil excellent image quality is also guarantied. The IsoCenter Matrix can be used in flexible combinations with other coils and works as a virtual 140 cm coil without patient repositioning in multi-step examinations.
Another new feature is the Focus Shoulder Array for optimum imaging of the shoulder. The coil’s shim wing shifts the examination area of the magnet from the middle of the system to the shoulder, which would lie at the edge of the measuring volume without this technology.
Magnetom Essenza has a shorter system length than many conventional 1.5 Tesla MR systems. This means that the head and feet of the patient remain outside of the system in many cases, making the examination much more pleasant for the person in the bore.
Inventor Dean Kamen discusses the next-generation prosthetic arm his engineers are building under contract from the Pentagon, and Boston Globe columnist Scott Kirsner gets a demo.
Dean Kamen has been working on robotic arms for injured soldiers who have lost limbs. The technology is like nothing we have ever seen before. He is being funded by a goverment agency (DARPA) and making great progress. The robotic arms will be able to have sensory perception along with motor control.
MADRID (AFP) — Cancer researchers warned at a conference in Spain Monday that an EU directive on limiting magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) could halt use of an important tool in the fight against the disease.
The directive is set to be implemented across Europe by April next year and was drawn up to limit medical workers’ exposure to electromagnetic fields.
But Professor Dag Rune Olsen, a specialist in experimental radiation therapy at the Norwegian Radiation Hospital in Oslo, told the European Cancer Conference in Barcelona that the directive could put at risk some eight million annual MRI scans, hampering patient treatment.
“These are likely to have to stop, since the directive sets limits to occupational radiation exposure which will mean that anyone working or moving near MRI equipment will breach them, thus making it possible for them to sue their employers,” he said.
“Even those maintaining or servicing the equipment may be affected,” said Olsen, who is also chairman of the physics committee of the European Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ESTRO).
Britain’s Health and Safety Executive published a study in June, undertaken by Professor Stuart Crozier of Brisbane University, Australia, which found that anyone standing within about one metre (yard) of an MRI scanner in use would breach the exposure limits laid down in the EU directive.
EU authorities are now considering amendments to the directive.
According to Professor Olsen, “Slovakia has already implemented the directive, on the grounds that it was based on the assumption that the limits which it sets would have no effect. This would appear to mean that it is now illegal to carry out MRI scanning in the country.”
In a statement, conference organisers said the directive “will also stop the use of MRI for interventional and surgical procedures, and will curtail cutting edge research.”
“The added value that MRI represents to medical diagnostics has been tremendous,” Olsen insisted.
He said he hoped there could be a delay in the directive’s implementation, while also warning against “hasty decisions without scientific support”.
Professor John Smyth, president of the Federation of European Cancer Societies (FECS), meanwhile warned that political decisions were harming cancer treatment in Europe.
He cited the MRI directive as an example and said that “(it) looks as though it may stop all MRI scanning in Europe”.
“We simply cannot continue to bury our heads in the sand on these issues, which affect doctors and patients alike,” he said.
Earlier, the conference heard that the number of elderly cancer patients would likely double from 2000 to 2030, creating “huge challenges” to healthcare systems worldwide
Microsoft’s long awaited and highly secretive health portal has been rolled out and is free for use by the public. HealthVault
is essentially an online place to keep family’s electronic medical records and easily share them with medical providers. What Microsoft claims to have done is effectively create an electronic filing cabinet and a built-in fax machine that can selectively share data found in the cabinet with anyone connected to the internet. Additionally, the system allows for connectivity with devices like blood pressure meters and glucose monitors, that can upload their data to the system for a physician to review and for historical reference.
We imagine that a system like this might be useful in reverse, where a physician uploads information for the rest of the family to see, as in cases like a child away at camp or parents that live at a distance who visit a clinic.
Currently in beta, Microsoft’s HealthVault plans to stay free and to pay for itself through advertising on the built-in search engine.HealthVault
HEALTH SEARCH: The new way to search for healthcare articles, Web links, and mini-applications.
DIRECT INPUT: Enter your personal information, upload health documents, and create records for members of your family. It’s time to digitize the doctor’s office “clipboard”.
FAX INPUT: Have your health records faxed directly into your HealthVault account. Collect all your paper-based health records into your digital store.
YOUR DOCTORS: Your whole healthcare provider team — from MDs to Chiropractors — are generating information about your health. You should have a copy of that information so that you can share it with all of them.
PRESCRIPTIONS: Medications need to be managed and renewed and, if your MD is e-prescribes, HealthVault can collect and store your medication history.
IMAGING & LAB RESULTS: Your images (X-Rays, MRIs, CAT Scans) and lab results may also be a part of your health record, and HealthVault helps you keep copies of them in your account.