Technology | July 14, 2009

M. D. Anderson Installs Optical Noise-Canceling System for Interventional MRI

July 14, 2009 –The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC) has installed in its clinical interventional MRI suite the IMROC communication system, a fiber optics-based system that enables doctors to converse normally in the noisy MRI environment.

Optoacoustics’ Interventional MR Optical Communication System (IMROC) is designed to enable doctors in interventional MRI (iMRI) environments to work smoothly and quietly during procedures, speaking freely with both technicians and patients.

Designed for today's advanced MRI suites, IMROC supports up to eight concurrent
dialogs, eliminating MRI acoustic gradient noise and providing previously unheard voice quality.

The IMROC system comprises Optoacoustics’ FOMRI highly directional fiber optical microphone integrated with new, patented fiber optical headphones, an optics-based switching unit worn by staff members in the scanner room, and a six-channel mixing and control console that resides in the MRI control room. IMROC is completely EMI/RFI immune and has been proven safe for MRI environments.

The IMROC system combines multi-disciplinary breakthroughs such as optoacoustic
MEMS transducers developed specifically for high-field MRI environments, together with state-of-the-art digital signal processing. IMROC provides multi-channel adaptive noise reduction and echo cancellation to bring hands-free, full duplex communications between MRI scanner and control rooms.

M. D. Anderson’s pioneering iMRI activities currently focus on MR-guided biopsies and ablations for soft tissue and for the head, neck, bone, liver and kidney. For biopsies, the
MDACC staff has begun using two IMROC headsets (radiologist and control room technologist); for ablations, up to three headsets (radiologist, staff and technologist); for combined MR and fluoroscopy procedures, as many as five IMROC staff headsets are used.

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