Traditional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines are expensive, large, and energy-intensive, but a new prototype from Hyperfine could revolutionize the field of diagnostic medicine with the world’s first portable MRI machine.
Not only is it portable, but the machine is also 20 times less costly, uses 35 times less power, and is 10 times lighter than current MRI machines. A big factor in the new technology is advancements to the machine’s magnet. Traditional MRIs use magnets ranging from 1.5 to 3 Tesla (the unit used to measure their strength), but the new MRI uses a significantly smaller magnet of just 0.064 T.
Researchers from Yale University tested the efficacy of the new technology on 30 hospital patients and found that the device successfully identified a range of abnormalities, ranging from brain tumors to ischemic stroke in 29 of them.
The new technology means hospitals would no longer need entire rooms dedicated to MRI services. The device could be easily rolled up to a patient’s bedside and run off the power from a wall outlet alone. This would mean lower costs, faster diagnosis, and MRI capabilities in remote areas that previously didn’t have access to such technology.
The machine still requires a few more rounds of testing before it can be officially available to medical facilities, but making MRI technology more accessible means the potential for vastly improved health care all around the world!