The one piece of the MRI that’s vital to the modality is the coil. The coil determines the image quality in the end of the story. Researchers are trying to find new ways to improve the coil. MRI coils for older scanners are not really all that compatible with newer scanners.
Part of the reason for the attempt at the upgrade of the coil centers on the fact that there hasn’t been much progress recently as far as research and development are concerned. According to an article in dotmed.com it was stated that “Back in the early 2000s, when manufacturers began to increase the magnetic field strength in their MRI scanners to produce a better signal to noise ratio, something unforeseen happened: researchers noticed that the coils that performed well with low field strengths were no longer well-suited for scanners with higher field strengths.”
So as the MRI continues to evolve the technology that makes it work has to progress. The problem that pops up is one of cost. If you upgrade the coils on your machine you are looking at a considerable expense that’s not within many budgets. Of course that an older coil will likely produce an image that’s too bright and uneven with dark spots. It will be interesting to see what exactly this development will mean from a business end.
An upgrade, according to the article can cost upwards of 100,000 and it may actually be cheaper to just upgrade the modality altogether. Diagnostic imaging has evolved beyond simple X-Rays and the technology that helps run modalities is expensive. Research and development is a big industry that fuels the forward movement of medical technologies.
It was stated that “manufacturers are now starting to create MRI scanners with multiple transmit coils rather than just one — a technology known in the industry as parallel transmission. Using multiple transmitters, doctors can steer the scanner’s magnetic fields and illuminate the bright and dark spots to even out the image.” It was stated that the main purpose is to ensure that the image eventually centers on one spot.
The market for these coils may eventually become cost prohibitive, at first. Chances are that this improvement in technology will be a boost in the refurbished sector. Only the future will tell. If you have any questions about diagnostic imaging equipment please feel free to give us a call. Our team of experts is standing by and looking forward to answering your questions.