Siemens Healthcare recently introduced several new applications at RSNA 2015, all of which are designed to reduce the time needed for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examinations of the brain, increasing patient throughput, and potentially reducing costs per scan.

According to Siemens, brain scans account for roughly 20% to 25% of all MRI examinations, and fast examinations are considered essential for maintaining efficient workflow. The number of brain MRI examinations is expected to grow in 2016, according to recent market report estimates, with an expected 45 million brain exams worldwide.

Siemens reports that its new Simultaneous Multi-Slice (SMS) application employs a technique that acquires imaging slices simultaneously rather than sequentially, reportedly reducing 2D acquisition times by up to a factor of eight. The length of advanced brain examinations can vary considerably, and now MR brain scans can be reduced to times compatible with the clinical routine. These advanced techniques will be applicable to patients with limited tolerance for longer scan times, such as geriatric or pediatric patients. SMS may be particularly beneficial in brain surgery cases through surgical mapping, potentially helping to reduce post-surgical deficits, and ultimately leading to improved efficiency in the utilization of OR resources, according to the company.

Another new Siemens MR application, GOBrain, is intended to enable clinically validated brain examinations within 5 minutes. Facilitated in part by Siemens’ high-channel density coils and the company’s MRI scanning software DotGO, the image orientations and contrasts are acquired at the push of a button. Patient throughput is improved, and costs per scan can potentially be reduced. Shorter scan times are better tolerated by patients and can help reduce potentially costly and time-consuming rescans, as well as potentially reduce sedation.

Siemens also introduced its syngo MR E11 software, an application platform for its Magnetom family of MR systems. The first Siemens MR systems to feature syngo MR E11 will be the Magnetom Aera 1.5T andMagnetom Skyra 3T systems. This platform is designed to expand the application offering and achieve consistency across all scanners, with a single user interface, and intuitive protocol optimization enabled by the DotGO scanning software.

For more information about the new MRI applications, visit the Siemens Healthcare website.