UK football club Manchester United is set to begin using “first-class” Vantage Galan 3T MRI technology provided by Japanese tech company Canon.

The new device will be installed at the club’s state-of-the-art medical imaging centre to provide players with quicker MRI scans and improved injury diagnosis.

Manchester United’s medical staff will be able to monitor the performance and health of the club’s players using more detailed imaging.

The Vantage Galan 3T will optimise health planning — from the senior Premier League team right through to the youth levels at the club — while the players themselves will benefit from quieter, more comfortable scans due to Canon’s Pianissimo noise-reducing technology.

Dr Steve McNally, head of football medicine and science at Manchester United Football Club, said: “Even the smallest injury in elite sports has implications.

“Having the right diagnostic tool at the peak of its development is vital to diagnosing subtle injuries that could impact player health.

“Using high-resolution MRI, therefore, helps to identify very minute intra-articular joint injuries, muscle oedema changes or very small fibre tears.

“We are very pleased with the ease of image acquisition and quality from the new Vantage Galan MRI for diagnostic purposes.

“We are looking forward to the additional opportunities the new technology provides for specialist imaging and post-processing applications that will enhance our ‘performance imaging’ and athlete health surveillance projects.”


Manchester United and Canon

Canon Medical — the company’s medical imaging product supplier — became Manchester United’s official medical systems partner in 2012.

Since then, it has provided the club with CT (computed tomography) and ultrasound imaging systems.

The partnership has seen several state-of-the-art imaging modalities installed in Manchester United’s Carrington-based training complex.

vantage galan 3t
Japanese tech firm Canon is best known for its cameras, photography lenses and video recording devices

In a statement, Canon Medical Systems UK managing director Mark Hitchman said: “Adding the Vantage Galan MRI to our system line-up at Manchester United Football Club is a natural progression of providing our best-of-breed imaging solutions over the last six years to monitor the very highest echelon of professional athletes.

“At the same time, the Galan MRI will be used for research projects that have the potential to cascade understanding of anatomical conditions to benefit wider health populations.”


The Vantage Galan 3T MRI

Canon Medical says its Vantage Galan 3T produces scans with enhanced image quality, resulting in more confident diagnoses and faster examinations.

Scan planning can also be enhanced with ‘ForeSee View’ — a new tool that previews slice planning in real time.

Canon Medical says this is particularly useful for anatomies that are traditionally difficult to scan, such as orthopaedic joints and ligaments.

vantage galan 3t mri canon medical
Canon Medical’s Vantage Galan 3T MRI scanner (Credit: Canon Medical)

These areas include the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) — a key knee-joint ligament often torn during sports that involve rapid changes in direction and sharp stops.

ACL injuries are also often associated with lengthy recovery times ranging from six months to a year or more.

The ForeSee View functionality will reduce the need for re-scanning and can save time on planning for all body regions, according to Canon Medical.



Also included in the Vantage Galan 3T installation at Manchester United’s training ground is CardioLine+.

Canon Medical says this application can accurately and automatically identify all the right and left ventricular and cardiac valvular planes in the human heart.

This reduces examination times to a minimum, enabling challenging cardiac examinations to be performed easily as part of daily routines.

In the context of sports medicine, Canon Medical adds this will be particularly useful for proactive sporting health surveillance campaigns such as cardiology profiling — a process required every two years for anyone undertaking vigorous training and competitive sports matches.