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Portable, Ultra-Low-Field MRI System Brings Brain Imaging to Patient’s Bedside

By MedImaging International staff writers
Posted on 10 Oct 2023
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Image: Advanced AI algorithms are now integrated across all Swoop ultra-low-field brain imaging system sequences (Photo courtesy of Hyperfine)
Image: Advanced AI algorithms are now integrated across all Swoop ultra-low-field brain imaging system sequences (Photo courtesy of Hyperfine)

Using fixed MRI machines often presents challenges for healthcare providers and patients, particularly when immediate action is needed. There's always a need to balance the useful insights that imaging might provide against the risks associated with transferring patients for MRI scans, such as treatment delays and therapy interruptions. Now, the world’s first FDA-cleared portable magnetic resonance brain imaging system has received clearance for an updated software that brings image quality enhancements to its diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) sequence.

Hyperfine’s (Guilford, CT, USA) Swoop Portable MR Imaging System takes diagnostic MR scans right to the patient's location. This has the potential to shorten ICU stays and their associated costs by enabling quicker diagnosis and reducing interruptions in patient care. For hospitals, using the Swoop system in the ICU allows for more effective staff allocation. It minimizes the logistics involved in moving patients for imaging, freeing up staff to focus on immediate patient needs in the ICU or assist other patients. Moreover, compared to traditional MRI systems, the Swoop can deliver results three to seven hours faster.

The Swoop system originally received its FDA clearance in 2020 as a portable magnetic resonance brain imaging device designed to generate brain images in situations where a complete diagnostic examination might not be clinically feasible. The latest software update expands the Swoop system’s AI denoising capabilities by integrating advanced image post-processing into the DWI sequence. This enhanced imaging clarity could potentially allow healthcare providers to make more precise diagnoses and treatment plans for patients requiring brain scans. Hyperfine plans to roll out the updated Swoop system software over the coming months. The Swoop system has received approval for brain imaging in countries such as Canada and Australia, UKCA certification in the United Kingdom, and CE certification in the European Union, and is also available in New Zealand.

“We believe in making brain imaging more accessible, clinically relevant, and actionable. We continue to make meaningful progress across all sequences. With this significant and most recent update, we now incorporate deep learning into our DWI sequence,” said Tom Teisseyre, chief operating officer of Hyperfine, Inc. “These imaging improvements will serve a critical role in enhancing image quality for healthcare professionals in time-sensitive environments.”

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