May 4, 2023 — Philips’ BlueSeal helium-free MR operations magnet has won the 2023 ‘Best New Technology Solution for Radiology’ award in the 7th annual MedTech Breakthrough Awards program. Philips’ BlueSeal Magnet is the industry's first and only 1.5T fully sealed magnet that only requires 0.5% of the helium normally needed over the operational lifetime of industry-standard MR system magnets. This breakthrough design addresses the urgent need to reduce the consumption of helium, a finite resource. It was first revealed to the world as part of the Philips MR – Ingenia Ambition and is now extended with the latest MR 5300 scanner which offers helium free MR operations with no compromise on diagnostic confidence and an improved patient- and staff experience. BlueSeal is one of a range of Philips leading health technologies and innovations designed to reduce hospitals’ dependency on natural resources and energy consumption and help meet their sustainability goals.
The mission of the MedTech Breakthrough Awards is to honor excellence and recognize the innovation, hard work, and success in a range of health and medical technology categories. This year’s program attracted more than 4,000 nominations from over 17 different countries throughout the world.
“Philips’ breakthrough development of its BlueSeal Magnet places it at the forefront of helium-free medical operations, supporting the transition to sustainable, helium-free-for-life operations, as well as simplifying installation and reducing costly disruptions to MR services. Congratulations on this innovation and being our pick for ‘Best New Technology Solution for Radiology,” said James Johnson, managing director, MedTech Breakthrough.
A Mere 7 Liters of Helium
Pre-loaded with a mere 7 liters of helium during manufacture, compared to around 1,500 liters required for a conventional MR magnet, an MR scanner using Philips’ BlueSeal Magnet remains essentially helium-free in operations for its life cycle. For hospitals, it not only reduces operating costs. Its reduced weight (around a metric ton lighter than a conventional magnet) simplifies installation, and the elimination of helium venting, even during a magnet quench, increases patient and staff safety.
“We see ourselves as a developer of resilient, energy-efficient, sustainable healthcare products and solutions. Our BlueSeal Magnet not only has the potential to steeply reduce the consumption of helium in the medical industry, but also ensures that on-site operators don’t need to worry about helium-related complications and unpredictability,” said Ruud Zwerink, General Manager MR at Philips.
Philips’ BlueSeal Magnet comes with the unique ability to rapidly return to normal operation after an interruption, such as a magnetic object becoming stuck in the bore. It is supported by an artificial intelligence (AI)* algorithm in its control electronics that enables single-click discharge and re-energization of the magnet from behind the MR console. This EasySwitch feature is one of several examples of how Philips is using AI to speed radiology workflows. Philips MR SmartSpeed imaging technology, which boosts speed and image quality and is enabling the MR scanner to use up to 53% less power per patient scan . Philips MR AI Protocol Assistant, Philips VitalEye, Philips SmartExam and Philips MRCAT Brain and Head and Neck software are other examples of AI-driven innovations to further accelerate Radiology workflows and enable MR only simulations.
Connecting Data and Intelligence to Address Today’s Healthcare Challenges
Philips’ advanced MR solutions are part of a comprehensive portfolio of fully interoperable smart MR, CT, diagnostic X-ray, ultrasound, and informatics systems that connect teams across radiology, oncology, cardiology, and pathology to enhance clinical confidence and advance precision in diagnosis and treatment. By accelerating diagnostic workflows and ensuring delivery of the right data at the right time and place to aid precision diagnosis and therapy selection, they help hospitals to alleviate staff shortages, increase efficiency, control costs, and deliver better patient outcomes.
For more information: www.philips.com
* According to the definition of AI from the EU High-Level Expert Group.
 Applicable to Ambition S. Philips SmartSpeed power consumption versus Philips SENSE based scanning. Based on COCIR and in-house simulated environment. Results can vary based on site conditions.