The new AI-enabled MRI system from GE HealthCare makes high performance wide bore the standard for true patient comfort, and will showcase existing AI and deep learning powered solutions that help enable faster and more precise scans, according to information shared by the company during RSNA 2023. Image courtesy: GE HealthCare
December 1, 2023 — In today's healthcare environment, the industry faces various pressing challenges. The magnetic resonance (MR) field is experiencing growing demands for precise imaging and diagnosis, increased productivity, all amid a global shortage of radiologists and patient backlogs. During the Radiological Society of America Scientific Sessions and Annual Meeting, RSNA 2023, GE HealthCare showcased a number of AI and deep learning enabled solutions that help address these challenges, including the introduction of the new SIGNA Champion wide bore magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system. An overview of the systems, provided by the company, follows.
An MRI can be an uncomfortable exam to undergo, especially for patients who are dealing with complex and painful conditions, or who are claustrophobic, due to the narrow spaces in an MRI scanner. Wide bore MRIs are increasing in popularity as they can create a more comfortable exam for these patients. However, there is a cost barrier that comes with these solutions that some health systems cannot afford. At RSNA 2023, GE HealthCare introduced SIGNA Champion – a new MRI system designed to enhance the standard care of MRI exams for patients everywhere by democratizing advanced AI and innovative features to help enable faster and more precise MRI scans.
While more patients gain access to MRI technology every year, they undergo a wide variation of quality, comfort & overall experience from their scans. Enabling equity in both the quality and experience of every MRI exam is equally as important as improving access to MRI for patients around the world.
SIGNA Champion is designed to stand out as an exceptional high-performance 1.5T wide bore MRI system powered by a variety of GE HealthCare innovative breakthroughs technologies:
• AI & Deep Learning – SIGNA Champion is designed to offer several AI-enabled workflow features like AIR Recon DL and Sonic DL, supporting efficiency, and delivering image quality excellence for users of all experience levels.
• Patient Comfort - SIGNA Champion’s unique combination of generous patient clearance inside the bore, short scan times and GE HealthCare’s award-winning AIR Coils support a more natural & comfortable patient experience.
• Sustainability and Operational Benefits – SIGNA Champion is GE HealthCare’s smallest footprint and most power efficient 1.5T wide bore system. SIGNA Champion is designed to support broader affordability, configurability, and upgradability to support services expansion for health systems.
SIGNA PET/MR AIR
Prostate cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease are both highly prevalent worldwide. The unique AIR technologies GE HealthCare incorporated in the SIGNA PET/MR AIRiii scanner will directly impact these and other similarly challenging diseases that are difficult to diagnose and treat. For instance:
• Prostate cancer: The combination of prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) targeted PET radiotracers with GE HealthCare's high sensitivity PET and the anatomical precision of MRI in the SIGNA PET/MR AIR holds the potential to help clinicians make a more precise diagnosis and staging/re-staging of prostate cancer. Additionally, it can aid in the selection of patients for subsequent PSMA-targeted radioligand therapy.iv
• Alzheimer's Disease: The recent approval of PET amyloid tracers and new Alzheimer's treatments require imaging of patients with MR and PET. SIGNA PET/MR AIR offers the industry’s most sensitive Time-of-Flight (ToF) PET detector in a PET/MR, helping to enable clinicians achieve early diagnosis, track disease progression, and detect adverse side-effects in a single scan.
SIGNA PET/MR AIR delivers deep learning-based MR image reconstruction with AIR Recon DL, helping to ensure both improved image quality and up to 50% reduction in scan time.v
GE HealthCare's AIR Coils offer a thinner, lighter solution, allowing for more accurate PET quantitation when compared to conventional rigid RF coils and enhance patient comfort.
MotionFree Brainvi PET is a breakthrough solution on SIGNA PET/MR AIR that addresses and manages patient movement during imaging and without external tracking devices. Images affected by motion on the SIGNA PET/MR AIR can be corrected even after the patient has left the scanner. MotionFree Brain helps to ensure consistent image quality even for patients who may find it difficult to remain still, potentially enabling faster and more accurate diagnosis while minimizing the potential need for repeat scans.
The introduction of the SIGNA PET/MR AIR system demonstrates GE HealthCare’s commitment to empowering healthcare professionals to deliver exceptional care and improve patient outcomes in the ever-evolving landscape of medical imaging.
Sonic DL is a deep learning-based technology designed to dramatically accelerate image acquisition in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Having first received FDA clearance for cardiac imaging, Sonic DL enables new imaging paradigms, such as high-quality cardiac MRI in a single heartbeat. This breakthrough expands GE HealthCare’s industry-leading AI-enabled solutions in its Effortless Recon DL portfolio.
Cardiac MRI is the gold standard for assessing the structure and function of the heart in cardiovascular disease – however, its adoption globally remains relatively low, in part due to lengthy scan times. The current acquisition speed of MRI is too slow to capture the heart's contraction in real time, requiring several heartbeats and multiple breath-holds for the patient. This process is time-consuming, prone to image quality degradation, and exhausting for patients.
Consequently, there is a pressing need to address the growing demand for fast, high-quality, and comfortable cardiac MRI technology. Sonic DL is designed to dramatically accelerate image acquisition in MRI, with the ability to scan up to 12 times faster compared to conventional methods, enabling rapid cardiac functional imaging in as fast as a single heartbeat, matching the speed of MRI to the speed of physiology.
This advancement minimizes or removes the need for repetitive patient breath-holds, simplifying procedures and expanding the pool of patients eligible for cardiac MRI to include arrhythmic patients and those with difficulty holding their breath or the inability to remain still. Sonic DL’s capability to reduce cardiac MRI scan times by up to 83%vii also helps enhance productivity in radiology departments, streamlining workflows – thereby reducing the burden on staff. Sonic DL’s AI-enabled technology tracks the beating heart with unparalleled image quality and overcomes the limitations of conventional acceleration techniques.
The innovation behind Sonic DL is a testament to GE HealthCare's commitment to advancing MRI through AI deep learning technology. GE HealthCare’s goal is to expand this technology across all anatomies. The combination of Sonic DL and AIR Recon DL represents a powerful solution suite for improved speed and image quality in MRI exams.
For more information: www.gehealthcare.com
i SIGNA Champion is 510(k) pending at FDA. Not available for sale in the USA. Not yet CE Marked. Not available in all regions.
ii SIGNA Champion is 510(k) pending at FDA. Not available for sale in the USA. Not yet CE Marked. Not available in all regions.
iii SIGNA™ PET/MR AIR™ is a premium configuration of SIGNA™ PET/MR. Not available for sale in all regions.
iv “Cancer.” World Health Organization. Feb 3, 2022. Accessed Jun 1, 2022. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/cancer
v GE HealthCare Data on file
vi Not CE Marked. Not available for sale in all regions
vii GE HealthCare Data on file