GE Healthcare has introduced a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology at the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).
The company's magnet technolgy, dubbed Freelium, is designed to use one percent of liquid helium compared to conventional MRI magnets.
It is designed to use just nearly 20 liters of liquid helium rather than the average 2,000 liters.
GE said magnets that feature Freelium technology are designed to be less dependent on helium and by using the technology, hospitals would no longer require extensive venting that often necessitates siting a magnet in a separate building or newly built room.
A Freelium magnet does not require any refilling during transportation nor in its lifetime. The incorportaion of the Freelium technology into a commercialized product could make MRI more accessible and less expensive to site and operate.
GE Healthcare magnet engineering leader Stuart Feltham said: “At GE Healthcare, we work to solve our customers’ biggest problems.
“The fact that MRIs require so much liquid helium adds cost, complication, and makes the systems difficult to install; Freelium technology is designed to aggressively address these challenges.
“It’s a revolutionary advance for the industry and we look forward to integrating Freelium technology into MRI systems so clinicians and their patients can benefit from it in the near future. There is still more than 70% of world’s population with no access to MRI.
“Our vision is to leverage this low-helium technology to increase worldwide accessibility of MRI so that more people can benefit from its diagnostic capabilities.”
The company says that the Freelium technology is an ongoing research and is not a product and neither did it receive any regulatory approval.