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What will MR look like in ten years?

September 07, 2018
MRI
From the September 2018 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

But will MR stay big, expensive, and limited to large shielded radiology-based suites? At least I hope that we will have many dedicated and small – maybe even portable – MR systems available in the next decade. This requires that we go back to lower field strength magnets, which means a reduction in sensitivities but also higher contrast for certain applications. These low-field magnets (on the order of several hundred mT) would not require superconductive coils and huge amounts of energy. They would be limited in their applications, but come with dramatically lower investment, siting, and running cost.

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My prediction would be that we have, in 2028, around one to five percent very-high-field MR systems that have a limited benefit for few applications, lots of very dedicated small and inexpensive units with a limited scope (intervention, surgery guidance, emergency, intensive care, dedicated applications, pediatric, etc.), combined systems for diagnosis and therapy, and fully automated standard care units (1.5T/3T) that will be smaller and faster, using standardized and reproducible advanced automated software programs.

About the author: Michael Friebe is a research professor of image-guided therapies at the Otto von Guericke University in Magdeburg Germany (www.ovgu.de/friebe and www.inka-md.de)

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