April 25, 2016 — MR Solutions and Vision RT were among the winners in the 2016 Queen’s Awards for Enterprise in the United Kingdom. This award is announced on the Queen’s birthday, April 21, and is one of the U.K.’s highest accolades recognizing business achievement. MR Solutions, of Guildford, was recognized in the Innovation category, while Vision RT was recognized in the Innovation and International Trade categories.
MR Solutions was recognized for its development of a preclinical multi-modality magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner, which does away with the need for liquid helium cooling. In order for high-powered MRI scanners to operate the magnet needs to be cooled to a very low temperature (minus 269 degrees centigrade) to achieve superconductivity. Until now this was only possible by immersing the magnet in liquid helium. This approach is very cumbersome, expensive and can pose a safety risk.
MR Solutions was able to develop an MRI system using a novel magnet design which only needs a readily available cryocooler unit to get to the very low temperature required. MR Solutions’ 3T to 7T MRI benchtop scanners can be installed alongside other equipment because the new design has reduced the stray magnetic field.
Vision RT was recognized for its AlignRT solution for surface guided radiation therapy (SGRT). SGRT is a form of radiation therapy during which the patient’s surface, and hence their position in 3-D, is tracked in real time both before and during treatment. AlignRT, a video-based non-ionizing tracking system, alerts the user if the patient moves beyond a pre-defined tolerance.
In International Trade, Vision RT was recognized for its “outstanding overseas sales growth over the last three years”, including in the United States, the largest radiation therapy market in the world. There its product is installed in 37 of the top 50 cancer centers in the country. Vision RT “has seen growth of its international trade of 260 percent since 2013.”