New advancements in MRI technology for improved diagnostics and patient experience
At a recent Philips sponsored dinner symposium, a panel of industry and clinical experts convened to present data on key advancements in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) solutions, with focus on two new Philips solutions – Ingenia Elition and Ingenia Ambition.
General Manager, Health Systems, Philips Singapore & Emerging Markets
Enhancing evidence-based care for better patient experience
For the last 125 years, Philips has strived to stay relevant by transforming itself from a consumer electronics giant to a global leader in health technology. Healthcare is related to the day-to-day lives of our community, and we believe that innovation is the way forward as it helps address the biggest issues facing the healthcare industry today.
We constantly look for ways to challenge ourselves, and in doing so, we have defined four priorities in diagnostic imaging. The first is enhancing patient experience, particularly during their MRI procedure. Secondly, we want to ensure excellence in image quality as this will lead to better diagnostic outcomes. The third priority is to embrace artificial intelligence (AI) which can make practices more automated and efficient. Finally, it is vital to optimize resources and workflow in clinical practices. With an increasingly ageing population and strained healthcare workforce, we need to ask ourselves how we can do more with less. Ultimately, we are here to support clinicians to make informed decisions and provide better care to more patients – all at a lower cost.
Dr Stephane Breil
Clinical & Research Specialist, Health Systems, Philips ASEAN Pacific
Faster and sharper diffusion scans with the Elition Vega Gradient
Today, the global expectation for imaging technology is to achieve higher resolution and faster scans, to reduce the number of rescans, and for diagnosis to be simpler and more accessible.
The Philips Ingenia Elition utilizes a new gradient system known as the Elition Vega Gradient. The Elition Vega Gradient can deliver a gradient amplitude of 45 mT/m alongside a slew rate of 220 T/m, with an amplifier power of only 1.60 MW. In terms of functionality, this means we can deliver a high efficiency output at a low heat deposition and better machine stability for longer duration operations. Combined with the intelligent design of the heat coil, the Ingenia Elition enables shorter duration scans at higher resolutions.
Ingenia Elition X Vega HP gradients deliver up to 23% higher temporal resolution in fMRI studies, as well as 30% shorter TR in diffusion imaging for excellent functional imaging at 3.0 T. This new level of precision and our next-generation wide bore system can attract an array of new funding with human connectome style protocols and open up research opportunities.
Fully redesigned gradients combined with Compressed SENSE acceleration technology allow up to 60% higher spatial resolution in the same scan time, revealing more details for greater precision. For example, speeding up isotropic 3D MSK imaging enables a switch from multi-orientation 2D imaging to a single high-resolution 3D efficient scan. It is precision made efficient.
The next generation of speed – Compressed SENSE parallel imaging
Some of the current challenges that exist in parallel imaging include the presence of artifacts in scans, compromised signal-to-noise (SNR) ratio, and a limited acceleration factor. Compressed SENSE, with its breakthrough acceleration technology, was launched with the purpose of meeting this demand for speed.
With Compressed SENSE, the same quality of 2D and 3D scans can be obtained up to 50% faster. One major advantage of Compressed SENSE is demonstrated in respiratory-triggered 3D MR cholangiography (MRCP), which can reduce scan duration from 3.39 minutes to only 16 seconds. The true significance is the reduction in patient breathhold time, enabling 3D MRCP to be carried out in patients with irregular or compromised respiration.
3D APT for more confident diagnosis in neuro-oncology
Seventy percent of radiologists find neuro-indications challenging or very challenging1 despite the advancements in MR technology, with tumour grading and treatment follow-up assessment remaining key challenges. 3D Amide Proton Transfer (APT) is a unique tool that utilizes the presence of endogenous cellular proteins to produce an MR signal that directly correlates with cell proliferation, a marker of tumoral activity.2,3,4
With 3D APT, radiologists will be able to differentiate between low- and high-grade gliomas, assess tumour aggressiveness and treatment effectiveness, and identify abnormalities in pH levels (such as in ischaemic stroke where lesions with acidic pH will reduce the APT signal).5 While 3D APT is currently optimized for brain imaging, there is work ongoing to optimize it for prostate, breast, lung, liver, and kidney scans.
Overcoming challenges associated with moving organs and improving overall patient experience
Paediatric patients present a particular challenge when it comes to MRI – younger patients can be uncooperative and many are unable to hold their breath for a sufficient amount of time that would enable a satisfactory scan. The VitalEye system is a visual-based patient respiratory detection tool powered by adaptive intelligence. It works by processing over 200 body locations in parallel to intelligently extract signs of breathing. This allows for reduced set-up time for routine examinations, even for less experienced technicians, to obtain images.
Lastly, the Ingenia Elition utilizes its Ambient Experience and in-bore Connect solution to improve overall patient experience during scans. A recent case study by Herlev Gentofte University Hospital in Denmark reported a 70% reduction in rescans with Ambient Experience in-bore Connect solution. Additionally, 84% of patients noted that they felt calmer because of the system.6
Dr Maarten Lequin, PhD
Neuroradiology and Radiology, University Medical Center Utrecht, The Netherlands
Benefits of Ingenia Elition in the clinical setting
One interesting comment I’ve received from paediatric patients is that they find the Ingenia Elition very comfortable due to the ComfortPlus mattress. Patient comfort is an important consideration for paediatric patients as this can impact scan quality.
An issue often faced by radiologists is the difficulty in grading or differentiating between tumours. However, by utilizing the Ingenia Elition 3.0T MRI solution, we are now able to identify low-grade gliomas (astrocytomas) and high-grade gliomas (glioblastomas) in our hospital.
We have also applied the 3D APT solution in the diagnosis of high grade brain tumours. From a radiologist’s perspective, we find that 3D APT provides better diagnosis compared with diffusion- and perfusion-weighted imaging in non-enhancing gliomas.
Product lead for 1.5T Ingenia Ambition, Diagnostic Imaging, Philips
Ingenia Ambition – A helium-free system for higher efficiency and reliability
The Ingenia Ambition system is the first helium-free MRI in the world that features BlueSeal – a novel technology that significantly reduces the amount of liquid helium required for magnet cooling.
One of the reasons why Philips moved towards a helium-free BlueSeal magnet system is the increasing scarcity of helium. This will inevitably lead to helium shortage, thus increasing operational cost.
The BlueSeal magnet system is a highly efficient micro-cooling technology that is fully sealed, which means helium is unable to escape and the system does not need to be refilled throughout its lifetime. Classic magnet technology requires around 1,500 litres of liquid helium as part of its cooling system but by using BlueSeal, the Ingenia Ambition only requires approximately 7 litres. Additionally, the system does not require installation of a quench pipe and is about 900 kg lighter than its predecessors. Therefore, there is more flexibility in installing the system, it reduces the likelihood of floor adaptations, and is cheaper and easier to install.
Adaptive intelligence system for uninterrupted operations
The Ingenia Ambition system utilizes a unique system guided by adaptive intelligence that supports a set of functionalities known as EasySwitch. With EasySwitch, the system’s magnetic field can be easily turned off by the user during any unexpected operational issues, for example, when an item gets stuck in the bore. Once the issue is resolved, the system can be turned back on by a trained technician and the magnet returned to field. This means operations can resume within a day or less, which translates to time- and cost-savings.
Beyond the unique BlueSeal and EasySwitch systems, the Ingenia Ambition MRI, similar to Ingenia Elition, is a novel system that has been designed around the most pressing needs in MRI – the need for speed without sacrificing scan quality (Ingenia Ambition also utilizes the groundbreaking VitalEye and Compressed SENSE technologies), improved patient and staff experience, and a confident diagnosis.
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