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Manufacturers unveiled a dizzying array of technologies designed to extend the clinical reach of MR, as they prepare for a clinical future where flexibility and productivity may determine success or failure. Most advances were being prepped for
Manufacturers unveiled a dizzying array of technologies designed to extend the clinical reach of MR, as they prepare for a clinical future where flexibility and productivity may determine success or failure. Most advances were being prepped for introduction on high-field scanners, but ways to migrate the technologies to open, mid-field systems were already apparent.
Spearheading MRs clinical drive are imaging packages, most of them works-in-progress, designed for vascular imaging and diagnosing brain trauma and cardiac dysfunction. Intervention and surgical guidance are key adjuncts to these diagnostic offerings, although vendors voiced these themes cautiously, careful not to oversell applications that are only beginning to gain credibility. Supplementing these clinical thrusts were the inherent advantages of the short-bore and open designs through improved patient comfort. Fast-scanning protocols pay off with quicker scans and increased patient throughput.
Vendors with the biggest market shares had the most to offer and the widest range, with new coils, productivity enhancements, and advanced applications. Smaller competitors stressed value-oriented solutions or specialty products aimed at market niches.
Notably absent from the technical exhibit floor in MR were Caprius and Trex Medical. Caprius, developer of a dedicated MR mammography system, is attempting to sell its technology assets (SCAN 12/16/98). Trex, on the other hand, is embroiled in a legal battle with former supplier Intermagnetics General after their strategic alliance in low-field MR broke down (SCAN 11/25/98).