Tag Archives: MRI

Updates from GE

Flesh Memory: This Company Uploaded The Heart Into The Cloud
By Tomas Kellner – Beckers is the CEO of Arterys, a company using deep learning and artificial intelligence to process data generated by medical imaging machines. Its cloud-based algorithms can show doctors blood flow details that were once impossible to see. “We want to enable data-driven medicine,” Beckers says.

“The goal is to build an intelligent platform that helps physicians diagnose ailments and prescribe the most effective treatment. Cloud computing and artificial intelligence have this transformative power.”

With conventional technology, it takes about an hour to obtain cardiac MRI images, Beckers says, and patients frequently have to hold their breath for up to 20 seconds during a scan. “This can be a major obstacle for imaging small children or patients with severe heart problems,” he says. But with advancements in GE’s MRI scanners, the scanning time can be less than 10 minutes and the patient can breathe normally, making MRI a quicker and a more comfortable process.

Within minutes of acquiring a 4D flow MRI scan, physicians can evaluate data in seven dimensions — three in space, one in time, and three in velocity direction — and see actual blood flow in the heart as a 3D image. “Arterys provides the most comprehensive view of blood flow and heart function,” Beckers says. more> https://goo.gl/5FyrYW

Updates from GE

No Laughing Matter: The World Is Running Out Of Helium, But It Won’t Hold These MRI Engineers Down
By Tomas Kellner and Dorothy Pomerantz – MRI machines explore the body by using powerful magnets and pulsing radio frequency signals. For the magnets to work, MRI manufacturers such as GE use liquid helium to cool them to minus 452 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 269 Celsius), just above absolute zero. At that temperature, they lose all electrical resistance and become superconducting.

“When you power up a super-cooled magnet, it can produce the same magnetic field for a thousand years with no more power required,” MR engineer and inventor Trifon Laskaris told GE Reports. The problem is that some machines need as much as 8,000 liters of the helium, and the world is running out of it, to the chagrin of radiologists and party-store owners alike.

After the fall of the Soviet Union, the Helium Privatization Act of 1996 got the government out of the business of producing the gas. But sales from the huge U.S. helium reserve stored in porous rock deep underneath Amarillo, Texas, kept down prices and gave private producers few incentives to enter the market. The shortage followed. more> https://goo.gl/emDpN3

Updates from GE

A Secret to Laser Brain Surgery? Slice the MRI Machine in Half

GE –  In the early 1990s, Harvard radiologist Dr. Ferenc Jolesz devised a clever way for killing brain tumors with a laser. But he ran into a hard obstacle: the skull.

Jolesz wanted to send a laser beam along a fiber optic strand inserted through a hole in the patient’s cranium. The beam’s intense heat would destroy the target. But he couldn’t see where the beam was going. “It was like trying to evaporate an apple seed inside a whole apple without cutting it.”

Jolesz thought magnetic resonance imaging could help. The right MRI machine would allow doctors to see inside the body, monitor temperature changes inside the skull, and perform surgery at the same time.

One problem: a machine like this did not exist. Then as now, most MRI machines enclosed the patient in a tunnel at the center of the magnet. This design made brain surgery impossible.

But a GE executive who knew about Jolesz’s project introduced him to Trifon Laskaris, a medical imaging pioneer working at GE’s research labs in upstate New York. Laskaris listened to Jolesz and came back with a design that sliced the multi-ton MRI magnet in half. The redesigned machine looked like a double donut with enough space between the two rings to give the surgeon access to the patient. “We could image the patient and operate at the same time,” Jolesz says. “Not only laser procedures could be done, but all types of open surgeries.” more> http://tinyurl.com/l2expyb

Optical brain scanner goes where other brain scanners can’t

By Michael C. Purdy – The new optical approach to brain scanning is ideally suited for children and for patients with electronic implants, such as pacemakers, cochlear implants and deep brain stimulators (used to treat Parkinson’s disease).

The magnetic fields in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) often disrupt either the function or safety of implanted electrical devices, whereas there is no interference with the optical technique.

The new technology is called diffuse optical tomography (DOT). While researchers have been developing it for more than 10 years, the method had been limited to small regions of the brain. The new DOT instrument covers two-thirds of the head and for the first time can image brain processes taking place in multiple regions and brain networks such as those involved in language processing and self-reflection (daydreaming). more> http://tinyurl.com/lxlj29a