MRI technology has brought a huge change to how doctors can detect certain conditions. It has made the detection of various conditions much easier than before. In this article, we’ll get to know the advancements in MRI technology. At the same, we’ll learn how it has impacted the world of medicine.
What Is an MRI machine?
MRI or magnetic resonance imaging uses magnetic fields and radio waves. These waves of energy form pictures that show the organs and tissues inside our bodies. Since the day MRI technology was invented, the machine continues to be refined.
How does MRI work though? So, an MRI scan utilises a large magnet, radio waves, and a computer. These three together form detailed cross-section images of your internal organs and tissues. The scanner itself resembles a very large tube with a sliding table in the middle. The sliding table is where the patient lies down to be scanned.
In comparison to X-ray scans, MRI is non-intrusive and doesn’t emit radiation.
Advancements made in MRI technology
There’s no shortage of advancements made for MRI machines. Year after year, breakthroughs are made and new features are added. The many MRI equipment for sale for hospitals could be even in their latest form. In this section, we’ll learn some of the advancements or breakthroughs in MRI technology.
The .55T Technology
The introduction of the .55T technology has vastly improved MRI scans. The .55T uses a larger opening at around 80 cm, handy for claustrophobic patients. The technology also uses a lower magnetic field strength that provides the same image quality as a 1.5T image.
The presence of air in the lungs made it difficult for a proper MRI scan. The introduction of the mentioned .55T technology has made it possible to scan the lungs. <ARI scan can now do this even with the interfering air inside.
Heart catheterisation required the use of an X-ray. However, this comes with the problem of radiation. The mentioned .55T technology for MRI scans is now in use these days. The low magnetic field strength provides scans on par with X-Ray. However, it doesn’t have the drawback of accumulated radiation.
An example case is children that require heart catheterisation. They will need to undergo this procedure throughout their life. The main issue is that X-Rays are the go-to method to guide the procedure. Radiation is emitted and accumulates inside the child. Once it reaches a sufficient presence, it starts to bring adverse effects on the child’s health. MRI with the .55T technology offers the same guidance but without the short-term and long-term risks.
Cinema Vision MRI
These said upgrades are enhancements to the image quality. CinemaVision MRI provides patients with a theatre-like experience. Again, this format of MRI scanning is better suited for claustrophobic patients.
Reduction of helium instead MRI facilities
Before, MRI facilities and equipment were reliant on helium pipes and circulation. However, helium-dependent MRI machines come with a few issues. The two issues are overheating and complicated installation. The recent variants are helium-independent. Therefore, they’re easier to set up and need less maintenance.
Addition of multi-slice Application
Advancement in MRI isn’t just locked to the machine itself. The software that it operates on has been improving as well. One of them is the software that influences image quality. The addition of multi-slice applications made it easier to obtain MRI images. It’s also more efficient in work since it saves data during the imaging process.
These are some of the many breakthroughs made in the healthcare field for MRI scan machines. There’s a possibility that more will arrive later on. With more advancements coming soon, MRI scanners will likely have a bright future ahead.
How did MRI impact healthcare?
Since we’ve covered some key advancements that MRI has made; let’s move on to its impact. Let’s learn how MRI impacts healthcare. What has significantly changed ever since MRI scan machines were invented?
Fewer risks after scanning
Before MRI, X-Ray and CT scans were used. While they do provide a defined image of your insides, it has one side-effect – radiation. While at first, radiation doesn’t do much to your body in small doses. However, the negative effects start to show up once they accumulate to a certain level.
The introduction of MRI scan machines has made it less risky to scan an individual. It provides the same benefits as an X-Ray or CT scan without radiation. Therefore, it doesn’t become a health risk later on.
Better scan results, better diagnosis
Aside from being radiation-free; MRI scans perform better. They provide better imaging of the body’s insides. As a result, it’s easier for the doctor to know what your condition is. MRI scans have it less likely for a doctor to diagnose you with the wrong condition.
A good example of this case is that MRI scans can detect cancer at its earliest. By detecting the condition at its earliest stages, it’s easier to treat it.
Better identification of tissues and organs
MRI scan brings better images of your internal systems. The details presented depict a variety of tissues in your body. It’s easy to pinpoint blood vessels and the like. Very handy if the doctor is identifying blocked blood vessels and sites of damage in the heart and tumours.
That aside, MRI can also identify the grey matter and other tissues in your brain. MRI scans, as a result, became useful in detecting cerebral conditions.
MRI has advanced over the past years and has gone a long road since its creation. Many upgrades were made to MRI technology – software-wise and hardware-wise. These upgrades further polish the advantages that MRI already has and send it to the next level. As a result, the future of MRI scan machines is pretty bright. Who knows? Somewhere down the line, it could detect more conditions than before and impact the healthcare world again.
Ellen Diamond, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.