When the new St. Luke’s Carbon Campus hospital in Lehighton opens in November, it will feature an MRI scanner with first-of-its-kind technology from GE Healthcare, designed to produce MRI images that are clearer and captured faster than ever. This is the first hospital in Northeastern Pennsylvania where this innovative software is used on a massive 1.5 Tesla magnet.
The giant MRI magnet, weighing nearly 10,000 pounds and measuring 92.5 inches high and 97.2 inches wide, will be delivered and installed at the hospital on Saturday, Oct. 2 at 8 a.m.
The GE Air Recon DL software operated on the MRI will use revolutionary, digital artificial intelligence algorithms proven to improve the signal-to-noise ratio of images, so the clearest images result from a faster scan.
This dual benefit has clear advantages for both the patient experience and the physician experience. Patients who are claustrophobic will find their exam times reduced considerably when scanned by this new MRI, often eliminating the need for sedation. MRI technologists will be able to complete each scan quicker and receive higher-quality images for interpretation by the radiologists. This win-win situation is available only at hospitals or imaging centers using this innovative GE technology.
This new software has repeatedly been shown to reduce scan times by an average of 30-50 percent across research trials, which is a magnitude of improvement previously unseen in MRI technology.
“This new scanning technology is a game-changer,” says Katie Sedler, manager of radiology for St. Luke’s Lehighton and Carbon campuses. “For physicians and patients alike, there’s a new gold standard in the world-wide MRI industry that has no equal.”
A standard MRI of the lower spine can take just under 10 minutes with the GE Air Recon DL software versus 23 minutes using conventional MRI scanners. This enhancement of both scan time and image precision is available across all anatomies. The technology uses only the true signal data to reconstruct an image, instead of a combination of signal and noise data. Noise data inhibits image clarity, making it more difficult for the radiologist to read a patient’s exam.
“Obtaining superior image resolution and decreasing acquisition time are equally important in MR imaging, traditionally coming at a trade-off of one another,” says Amit Pal, MD, section chief of MRI for St. Luke’s University Health Network. “With this cutting-edge technology, we no longer to have to choose between these equally important aspects of MRI. We can now provide a shorter, more comfortable scan session for our patients, while simultaneously obtaining the best image quality for our radiologists to analyze.”
St. Luke’s is a show site and frequent collaborator with GE Healthcare on the research and development of radiologic imaging. Last year, the hospital network and GE introduced the industry’s first x-ray system powered with an embedded AI algorithm to detect potentially life-threatening collapsed lungs within seconds of image acquisition.