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Dedicated MRI System Scans Neonates Inside NICU

By Medimaging International staff writers
Posted on 24 Dec 2018
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Image: The Embrace Neonatal MRI System inside a NICU (Photo courtesy of Aspect Imaging).
Image: The Embrace Neonatal MRI System inside a NICU (Photo courtesy of Aspect Imaging).
A compact magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system designed to be placed inside the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) reduces the risks involved with transporting infants to an external facility.

The Aspect Imaging (Shoham, Israel) Embrace Neonatal MRI System is a fully enclosed device that does not require a safety zone or shielded room, and can thus be placed inside a NICU environment. Babies undergoing scans are placed inside a temperature-controlled self-contained incubator bed, which minimizes movement while allowing for environmental control and continuous monitoring of its vital signs. Information gained from the MRI can identify possible brain injury, and in the future guide, which treatments may assist in preventing disability.

System features include a workflow that allows prep and scan in less than one hour of neonates with a head circumference up to 38 centimeters and weight between one and 4.5 kilograms; a dedicated head coil enabling diagnostic quality brain imaging; three size swaddles to reduce infant movement and allow routing of tubing and monitoring leads; a non-cryogenic technology that does not require a cooling system; and PACS/HIS/RIS connectivity with DICOM compatibility. The system is contraindicated for all infants with metallic or electronically active implants.

“The operating and maintenance costs of the Embrace Neonatal MRI System are much lower than conventional superconductor MRIs due to Aspect's magnet technology, which requires no cooling system and has low power consumption,” said Uri Rapoport, CEO and Founder of Aspect Imaging. “Our vision is to help the most vulnerable population of all – premature babies – using our technology to assist neonatologists with their clinical diagnoses, and improve neonatal care wherever it will be used.”

“The installation of the state-of-the-art, neonatal MRI system will greatly enhance the research capabilities of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and elevate and expand neurocritical care for our littlest patients,” said Terrie Inder, MD, chair of the department of pediatric newborn medicine, which installed the first Embrace device in the USA. “Locating this technology within the NICU will reduce time and patient risk associated with transporting newborns to a traditional MRI and allow MRI access from the first hours of life through the challenging, sometimes life threatening, time within the NICU.”

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