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Affordable MRI Machine Matches High-End Performance

TL;DR

  • The research introduces an affordable MRI system of off-the-shelf parts combined with advanced artificial intelligence (AI) technology.
  • The success of the advanced MRI system is in the combination of advanced AI algorithms. 
  • In addition, the Hong Kong MRI system’s simpler design and lower power consumption allow for increased portability. 

Developments in medical technology are likely to change healthcare access all over the world. In a research published in the well-regarded journal Science, Yujiao Zhao and colleagues at the University of Hong Kong designed a simplified, low-power MRI machine from store-bought hardware, costing around $22,000.

Launched five decades ago, MRI scanners now play a crucial role in this era of modern medicine, whereby they are used to diagnose a wide variety of conditions, including strokes, tumors, and spinal conditions, all these with minimum radiation exposure to the patient.

The research introduces an affordable MRI system of off-the-shelf parts combined with advanced artificial intelligence (AI) technology. This advancement has a prospect of closing the AMRI breach, especially in regions that lack the needed medical resources.

Affordable innovation

Through their astronomical price tags that sometimes reach tens of millions of dollars, traditional MRI machines have always made this indispensable diagnostic tool somewhat inaccessible.

Nonetheless, this financial barrier was broken by the Hong Kong research team, which developed an MRI system worth only $22,000.By contrast, the Hong Kong research team’s full body MRI machine used a helium-free 0.05T magnet and required just 1800 watts, comparable to a hair dryer, meaning it could use a standard socket.

The success of the advanced MRI system is in the combination of advanced AI algorithms. A deep learning algorithm was developed to overcome the diminished magnetic field strength and potential deterioration of the images, based on extensive datasets of high-resolution anatomical images. This AI enhancement allows the system to achieve imaging results that are comparable with those of traditional MRI scanners while being used at much lower power.

Their machine was then tested on 30 healthy adult volunteers, who had scans done over the body from the knees to the brain. Their “ultra-low field” MRI produced comparable results with MRI scanners that were 60 times more powerful.

Prospects for global healthcare

This is groundbreaking in the sense that it means more than cost reduction. The advent of cheap and portable MRI scanners will be a great benefit to areas that have no regular access to scanners.

Because it allows for accurate diagnoses without the requirement of elaborate infrastructure or excessive costs, this innovation has the potential to transform healthcare delivery in resource-limited settings globally. In addition, the Hong Kong MRI system’s simpler design and lower power consumption allow for increased portability.

Compared to traditional MRI machines, which require specialized facilities and high power inputs, this portable device can run through standard sockets and does not demand upgrading expensive infrastructure. Despite the positive outlook for wide adoption, several challenges must be surmounted in order to fully benefit from this technology. Local capacity building is one critical aspect for supporting the production, maintenance, and utilization of such devices in resource-lacking regions.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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Brenda Kanana

Brenda Kanana is an accomplished and passionate writer specializing in the fascinating world of cryptocurrencies, Blockchain, NFT, and Artificial Intelligence (AI). With a profound understanding of blockchain technology and its implications, she is dedicated to demystifying complex concepts and delivering valuable insights to readers.

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