Recent Developments in MR Technology: Which Ones Do You Need?
March 4, 2015 | Evaluations & Guidance
A number of recent developments in magnetic resonance (MR) technology can allow hospitals to improve their systems. Such improvements include increasing the number of clinical applications available, improving the image quality, adding more automation to the scanning process, or reducing the amount of time it takes to scan a patient.
Some improvements, such as increasing the MR system's field strength or bore size, necessitate replacing the entire MR system at great expense. But many others do not—rather, they can be obtained through software upgrades, installation of new electronics, or small hardware purchases.
When possible, upgrading the system is often a better option than replacing it. The cost of upgrading, though it can still be considerable, will usually be substantially lower than the cost of a new system installation.  This is because installing a new system will always require replacement of the magnet, which is the most expensive component of the system and which always entails substantial building renovation and rigging costs. Unless a facility seeks to increase the system's field strength, it doesn't make sense to replace the magnet, since the performance of the magnet does not degrade over time and since any additional capabilities that would be provided by replacing the magnet will usually be available through a less expensive system upgrade.
Of course, not all upgrades or options will benefit all facilities. Hospitals will have to weigh the cost of...