Portable MRI machines are gaining traction in healthcare, especially with many COVID-19 patients unable to safely leave their hospital beds for imaging, reports Scientific American.
What if one of the most useful diagnostic tools in health care could be wheeled to your hospital room bedside, rather than requiring you to be physically moved to another wing—or even another building entirely—in order to make use of it?
For decades, we’ve used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to create detailed anatomical images of organs and structures inside the body. Now, improvements in radiology imaging technique have enabled the industry to build smaller low-magnetic-field MRIs and move them into the clinical environment—basically, the first portable versions of this equipment. For emergency physicians like me, bedside imaging could open entire fields of possibility.
More research needs to be done on this innovative device, but the early results are encouraging—enough that doctors and hospitals may begin imagining just how they would use a portable MRI — and a few have already put such units into limited use, as they learn more about their capabilities.
Read more in Scientific American.