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Faster, More Comfortable Body Scans at Geisinger St. Luke’s
July 16, 2020

Body scans at Geisinger St. Luke’s Hospital are now easier, faster and more comfortable for patients.

The 80-bed Orwigsburg hospital, which opened its doors in late 2019, is the first in the Schuylkill-Luzerne-Carbon county region – and the fifth in PA – to use the GE AIR™ Coils blanket in its MRI machine, which produces diagnostic images of the inside of the body.

An MRI ‘coil’ refers to the antenna-like apparatus that is placed on or near a body part being scanned. Conventional coils are heavy and bulky shell-like casings that are positioned several inches from the body.

The GE AIR™ Coil is a soft, flexible pad measuring 26.5” x 32” x .5” and containing lightweight electronics that weigh half as much as conventional coils, benefiting both patients and technologists. The coils offer greater flexibility that conform to patients’ anatomies and fit all ages, sizes and shapes. GE received FDA clearance for its AIR™ Coils in 2017.

MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is a non-radiation procedure. AIR™ Coil Technology gives enhanced MRI image clarity and patient convenience while significantly reducing scan duration in many cases.

Because of its flexibility, the AIR™ Coil conforms to the human anatomy in any position to obtain the highest-quality scan without causing discomfort to the patient by reducing the "breath-hold" time required during scans to limit blurry images and other unwanted side effects.

Robert Fournier, MD, St. Luke’s Vice Chair of Radiology, says acquiring the GE AIR™ Coil is another example of "how the resources of two large networks working together can invest and obtaining new technologies that benefit our patients." He notes the shorter scan time is especially beneficial for sick or injured patients who labor to hold their breath during the often-lengthy MRI procedure. Breath holds with this super-sensitive AIR™ Technology are significantly reduced from the time required using conventional coils.

"This technology is a game-changer," says Amit Pal, MD, St. Luke’s section chief for MRI. He praises GE as a valuable and innovative partner for Geisinger St. Luke’s because of GE’s responsiveness and ease of collaboration in product development. "They are at the forefront of technology."

“It’s our great pleasure to provide to Geisinger St Luke’s the delivery of AIRTM Coils for the benefit of their patients, their technologists and their radiologists,” said Fraser Robb, PhD, CEng, Chief Technology Leader at GE. “AIRTM coils have revolutionized the MRI industry and we have had great feedback on their performance.”

Media Contact:

Sam Kennedy, Corporate Communications Director, 484-526-4134, samuel.kennedy@sluhn.org

About St. Luke’s

Founded in 1872, St. Luke's University Health Network (SLUHN) is a fully integrated, regional, non-profit network of more than 16,000 employees providing services at 12 hospitals and 300 outpatient sites. With annual net revenue greater than $2 billion, the Network’s service area includes 11 counties: Lehigh, Northampton, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Montgomery, Monroe, Schuylkill and Luzerne counties in Pennsylvania and Warren and Hunterdon counties in New Jersey. Dedicated to advancing medical education, St. Luke's is the preeminent teaching hospital in central-eastern Pennsylvania. In partnership with Temple University, St. Luke's created the Lehigh Valley's first and only regional medical school campus. It also operates the nation’s longest continuously operating School of Nursing, established in 1884, and 38 fully accredited graduate medical educational programs with 347 residents and fellows. St. Luke's is the only Lehigh Valley-based health care system with Medicare’s five- and four-star ratings (the highest) for quality, efficiency and patient satisfaction. St. Luke’s is both a Leapfrog Group and Healthgrades Top Hospital and a Newsweek World’s Best Hospital. In 2020, three of IBM Watson Health's 100 Top Hospitals were St. Luke's hospitals. St. Luke's University Hospital has earned the 100 Top Major Teaching Hospital designation from IBM Watson Health eight times total and six years in a row. St. Luke's has also been cited by IBM Watson Health as a 50 Top Cardiovascular Program. Utilizing the Epic electronic medical record (EMR) system for both inpatient and outpatient services, the Network is a multi-year recipient of the Most Wired award recognizing the breadth of the SLUHN's information technology applications such as telehealth, online scheduling and online pricing information. St. Luke's is also recognized as one of the state's lowest cost providers.