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India’s First Portable MRI Scanner that Consumes Energy Equal to a Coffee Machine Launched in CMC Vellore

Written by : Arti Ghargi

April 22, 2024

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As per CMC, the MRI Scanner machine has a magnetic field of only 0.064 T, making it safer and more energy-efficient than traditional MRI scanners.

The Christian Medical College Vellore has launched a portable AI-powered MRI Scanner machine, Hyperfine Swoop low-field portable MRI scanner– a first-of-a-kind in India.

Taking it to X (formerly Twitter), the premier health institute in India said the low-field MRI Scanner was procured recently and it can be moved from one place to another using a joystick.

"A Hyperfine Swoop low-field portable MRI scanner was procured recently, making CMC Vellore the first hospital in the country to have this state-of-the-art, AI-powered scanner,” the post read.

As per CMC, the MRI Scanner machine comes with several features including a magnetic field of only 0.064 T, making it safer and more energy-efficient than traditional MRI scanners.

Traditional MRI Scanners are bulky and need a fixed installation. They also occupy huge spaces and consume huge amounts of power.

However, Hyperfine Swoop low-field portable MRI scanner is an energy-efficient machine. As per CMC, it runs on 900 watts of power which is equivalent to that of a coffee machine. It also does not require cryogens.

The portable MRI scanner can produce high-quality MRI images with advanced image processing and deep learning algorithms.

However, the scanner is currently not available in the country for commercial use. The hospital will be using it for research purposes.

Key Features of Hyperfin Swoop MRI S

Developed by US-based medical technology company Hyperfine Research, the Swoop system, is the world's first FDA-cleared portable MRI system capable of providing neuroimaging at the point of care.

Per the company, the Swoop system is designed to address the need for affordable, easy-to-use imaging solutions in low-and middle-income countries where high-field MRI machines are not widely available or accessible.

This innovative system is particularly valuable for evaluating neurodevelopmentally focused interventions and addressing global health challenges.

The Swoop system measures 140 cm high and 86 cm wide and weighs 630 kg making it lightweight, compact, and easily movable.

It can be transported on wheels and moved through standard doorways and elevators, allowing it to be wheeled directly to the patient's bedside.

It can also be plugged into a standard electrical wall outlet and controlled through an intuitive touchscreen interface, making it accessible to healthcare professionals with minimal training. The scanning process can be initiated quickly, guiding users through the necessary steps to acquire high-quality images.

Unlike traditional MRI Machines, the Swoop system has in-built noise cancellation technology that maps and adjusts high electromagnetic interference, resulting in crisp, clear imaging sequences such as T1-weighted, T2-weighted, diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI), and fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR).

Since it is an open MRI scanner, it can be used for patients who deal with claustrophobia and have trouble going under traditional MRI Machines. It also displays images in minutes reducing anxiety and expediting the workflow.

The system received 510(k) clearance from the US FDA for magnetic resonance imaging of the brain, including patients aged zero to two years, in August 2020.

The system has also received CE certification in Europe and is approved for brain imaging in many countries, including Canada and Australia.


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