Poole Hospital installs helium-free MRI system

In July, Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust became the first UK hospital to introduce the Philips Ingenia Ambition X 1.5T MR, said to be the UK’s first MRI system to enable helium-free operations.

Use of BlueSeal technology could save 1,700 litres of liquid helium as it contains less than 0.5 per cent of the helium of a conventional system and it is permanently sealed inside the device.

“We are very proud to be the first NHS trust to offer our patients this breakthrough technology,” said MRI superintendent David Reed. “The Ingenia Ambition X will not only ensure high quality diagnostic care but it could also all help eradicate potentially costly disruptions to service arising from loss of helium should a machine lose its magnetism.

“With MR technology being a high level investment that needs frequent use to ensure return on investment, removing this problem is of great appeal to the team while knowing that, vitally, it will support us in seeing more patients more quickly, without compromising quality. This is a new approach to diagnostic imaging and exactly the kind of service we are proud to bring to our community.”

The Ingenia Ambition X can be operated by one person through a guided patient set-up programme and Philips says the system can help speed examination times by up to 50 per cent when combined with Compressed Sense software, which creates composite images so patients don’t spend as long being scanned.

Being helium-free and lightweight, the system does not need to be installed in reinforced rooms with complex venting systems, giving trusts more freedom when planning where MR departments and technology are placed.

“The MRI was invented in the UK, so it’s fitting that today the UK is introducing another imaging first at Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust,” said a Philips UKI spokesperson. “Helium is a finite resource, with a large proportion being used in MRI scanners across the world. We’re looking forward to strengthening our relationship with the team at Poole, and bringing a new era of MRI to the trust.”

Picture: The Ingenia Ambition X requires less space.

Published on page 1 of the September 2019 issue of RAD Magazine.

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