Technology | October 16, 2007

FDA Clears Siemens’ “Affordable” 1.5T MRI Siemens

Siemens Medical Solutions received FDA 510(k) clearance for a 1.5 Tesla (T) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system that is reportedly more affordable, allowing providers to upgrade from low-field MRI systems or to add an MRI system for the first time.
The cost of the new 1.5T MAGNETOM Essenza can reportedly be as much as $500,000 less than other 1.5T systems, making it possible for small hospitals and diagnostic imaging centers to offer a new range of imaging services.
The MAGNETOM Essenza is designed to combine high system performance with a patient-friendly design at one of a low total cost of ownership. The magnet has simple siting requirements, is lightweight (approximately 3.5 tons), and has an ultra-short bore-length of 145 cm.
Once installed, the system is designed to provide an optimal operating cost, which could save facilities as much as 50 percent on their MR energy bill compared with older systems. Further, the system’s advanced magnet design is engineered to ensure maximum product uptime with a zero helium boil-off magnet.
The 1.5T system is designated for a complete range of clinical applications, including neurology, orthopedics, body imaging, angiography, cardiology, breast imaging, oncology and pediatric imaging. The system’s V-engine gradients (30 mT/m) and Tim (Total imaging matrix) technology can potentially increase patient throughput. The system has up to 25 integrated coil elements and eight independent radiofrequency channels. Tim is designed to allow flexible combinations of up to four different coils that reduce patient and coil repositioning. The MAGNETOM Essenza also features Siemens’ newest coil innovation, the IsoCenter Matrix coil, which is placed in the isocenter of the magnet, meaning that it is always in position and ready to scan.
For areas which are difficult to image, Siemens’ Focus Shoulder Array brings off-center images into focus. Together with the six-element parallel-acquisition–compatible design of the coil this enables pristine image quality, leading to improved diagnostic confidence.

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