St Mary’s upgrades GE HealthCare MR scanners, sees two more patients per day

  • St Mary’s Hospital in London have been able to scan two more patients per day as a result of MR upgrades.
  • A total of 54 GE HealthCare MR scanners have been upgraded across the country to tackle elective recovery and was partly funded by NHS England.

St Mary’s Hospital, part of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, is among the first hospitals in London to complete the upgrades of their GE HealthCare magnetic resonance (MR) scanners. After two months of usage, the radiology team at St Mary’s were able to scan two more patients a day, improving patient experience and helping bring down waiting times. Average scans that would previously take 30 minutes now take approximately 20 minutes. A reduction in scan time enhances the experiences of both patients and radiologists, particularly for people who struggle to remain motionless for extended periods. This not only improves patient comfort but also helps increase capacity for radiology staff. A total of 54 GE HealthCare MR scanners have been upgraded across the country to tackle elective recovery and was partly funded by NHS England.

The NHS in England, like numerous health systems, grappled with escalated demands amidst the pandemic, and are striving to balance safety, high-quality care, and the mounting patient needs. The March 2023 NHS England Diagnostic Waiting Times and Activity Report outlined that the total number of patients waiting six weeks or more from referral for a diagnostic test at the end of March this year was 25%, meaning that the national operational standard of less than 1% of patients waiting six weeks or more for a diagnostic test was not met in the month of March[1].

“About two months in, we were able scan two more patients a day. We feel that it allows us to get the best of both worlds. On the one hand we get a substantial improvement in quality, on the other hand we are also able to obtain a substantial improvement in productivity. These are unheard-of benefits, not only in MR but even in medicine in general where you very rarely get the best of both worlds,” said Professor Wladyslaw Gedroyc, consultant radiologist at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and who works at St Mary’s Hospital.

“Through these enhancements, we can expand the capabilities of our older existing systems, eliminating the necessity for a new purchase. It was important to us to make this technology available not only on our latest scanners, but also to systems dating back 20+ years. This enables hospitals to save on capital expenditure in the face of current financial constraints and reduce their environmental impact. The advantages of the upgrade for hospital staff has been extraordinary to see, as they can now scan at a faster pace while achieving superior image quality,” said Simon McGuire, general manager, GE HealthCare Northern Europe.

The MR upgrades includes GE HealthCare AIR Recon DL, a deep learning-based image reconstruction technology that has fundamentally shifted the balance between image quality and scan time. As of May 2023, over 10 million patients globally have been scanned with AIR Recon DL[2].

[1] NHS England. Monthly Diagnostics Data 2022-23. Available at:

[2] GE HealthCare Data on File.

This news story has been sponsored by the companies concerned and does not represent the views or opinions of RAD Magazine.

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