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Siemens develops new low cost 1.5 Tesla MRI system

Siemens Healthcare Deutschland : 22 October, 2007  (New Product)
Siemens has customised a 1.5 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging system (MRI) that is priced at up to several hundred thousand euros below the conventional 1.5 Tesla systems of this type.
The company’s Magnetom Essenza is the least expensive new 1.5T MRI system. Customers will receive the newest technology at a much lower price than before. An example is the Tim (Total imaging matrix) technology, which offers the physician all the standard clinical applications with excellent image quality.

Another innovation is the IsoCenter Matrix: installed at the centre of the magnet, it is always in the correct position, thus giving a further guarantee of simple workflows and outstanding image quality.

'Magnetom Essenza will make MR imaging attainable for hospitals and practices that up to this time simply could not afford to provide these services to their patients, at least not to the extent and in the quality necessary. Our new system represents a paradigm shift. It will change the market permanently,' predicted Walter Marzendorfer, head of the Magnetic Resonance Division at Siemens Medical Solutions.

'We have put a number of innovations together in this one system, including Tim, which our customers have valued for years, and created a package optimized for low total cost of ownership. We know there is enormous pressure on healthcare providers, so we looked for and found ways to make MRI more affordable.”

Magnetom Essenza is a powerful and low cost system that supports the clinical and financial success of its users. In addition to the low initial investment, savings of up to 25 percent can also be attained on installation costs for space, power requirements and construction. In part this is due to the light-weight 3.5 ton magnet, which even makes it possible to install the Magnetom Essenza on higher floors.

If the system is replacing an existing MR system, it can reduce energy consumption up to 50 percent thanks to its high performance electronics. Since the state-of-the-art magnet has zero helium boil-off, there is no need to regularly refill this expensive substance, and the system is always ready for operation.

Thanks to its powerful gradients (30mT/m), the new member of the Magnetom family delivers superior image quality for all clinical applications. Using Tim technology with Magnetom Essenza, the area of the patient to be examined can be covered with up to 25 seamlessly integrated coil elements that are read by eight independent radiofrequency channels.

Tim allows for flexibly combining up to four different coils, which make patient and coil repositioning virtually unnecessary. Tim also enables Parallel Imaging for reduced acquisition times. All of these benefits translate into workflow improvements as well as increased patient throughput, not to mention improving the profit situation. As an example, a complete examination of the entire central nervous system can be performed in less than ten minutes.

Another powerful new innovation is the IsoCenter Matrix coil. It is permanently positioned at the isocenter of the magnet and therefore always in position, ready to scan. The advantage is that the user does not need to carry large, heavy spine coils any more and the patient preparation time is shortened. Additionally, by ensuring the correct positioning of the coil excellent image quality is also guarantied. The IsoCenter Matrix can be used in flexible combinations with other coils and works as a virtual 140cm coil without patient repositioning in multi-step examinations.

Another new feature is the Focus Shoulder Array for optimum imaging of the shoulder. The coil's shim wing shifts the examination area of the magnet from the middle of the system to the shoulder, which would lie at the edge of the measuring volume without this technology.

Magnetom Essenza has a shorter system length than many conventional 1.5 Tesla MR systems. This means that the head and feet of the patient remain outside of the system in many cases, making the examination much more pleasant for the person in the bore.

According to Siemens' estimates, over 60 percent of the MRI systems sold worldwide in 2007 will be 1.5 Tesla systems. In order to meet the demands of the variety of institutions, from diagnostic imaging centers to municipal and university hospitals to research centers, Siemens Medical Solutions now offers four 1.5T systems, including its new addition: Magnetom Avanto, Magnetom Espree, Magnetom Symphony and Magnetom Essenza.
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