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How Well do you Know the MRI Machine?

Diagnostic imaging and all its related technologies are no different in terms of their rich history

Do you ever sit back and wonder who did what? Sometimes people will look at something like their television set and wonder who they owe it to. Every major inventor and key figure in the Industrial Revolution did something to change the way we live life today. Diagnostic imaging and all its related technologies are no different in terms of their rich history. So, have you ever wondered about the MRI scanner? Do you know the MRI well, or feel you know it well?

Let’s start with what MRI stands for, magnetic resonance imaging. The first MRI was performed in 1977 and the first image took over five hours to generate. Since the first MRI was performed nearly four decades ago the technology has improved greatly. Let’s go back to how it started though.

The Napoleon Connection

Jean Baptiste Joseph Fourier
Jean Baptiste Joseph Fourier
Dr. Raymond Damadian
Dr. Raymond Damadian and the history of the MRI machine
MRI scan procedure
MRI Scan procedure

Jean Baptiste Joseph Fourier was a French mathematician and engineer that served as an officer in Napoleon’s army. This man’sFourier Transform was the reason for our ability to create images. The transform is a mathematical transformation method for heat transfer analysis between solid bodies. This mathematical method has been in use for nearly 40 years and remains a staple of the MRI.

The 1930’s

While, over a lengthy period of time, technologies were being created by people like Nikola Tesla there was no set imaging creation outside of the wondrous X-Ray. When the 1930’s came around, along with the Great Depression, came Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR).  With Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, magnetic fields and radio waves caused atoms to give off tiny radio signals.

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70’S: Disco, Pet Rocks, and MRIs

After the 1930’s, following decades and multiple inventions, and advances such as television and transatlantic travel were mastered, came the 1970’s. With the 1970’s came disco, the pet rock and yes the MRI. In 1970 the first patent for Magnetic Resonance Imaging was put on by Dr. Raymond Damadian. Dr. Damadian found out that different kinds of animal tissue emit varying response signals. The 1974 patent that was granted was actually for what he termed “Apparatus and Method for Detecting Cancer in Tissue.”

Imagine if that had been the final name, it would be called the AMDCT instead. The technology progressed rapidly to where the big development came about in 1977. The first whole body MRI was developed.


While the MRI scanner has stayed true to its rich roots and tradition it has evolved greatly since 1977. MRI technology has gone further in helping diagnose complex conditions and has actually helped in terms of creating proper methods of treatment. Today new technology promises greater developments that will continue to make the MRI a necessary solution for Physicians looking to deal with everything from cancer to broken bones.

If you have any questions about MRIs or the MRI procedure, please feel free to call us at any time.

Posted By:

Robert Nicholas Serros Jr.
President & CEO

Amber Diagnostics
407-438-7847 ext 1003



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