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Fonar gains multiple-scanning patent

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MRI developer Fonar of Melville, NY, has been issued another patent, this one for a novel software module designed to work with MRI scanners using multiple patient beds. The software is designed to increase the productivity of scanners using the

MRI developer Fonar of Melville, NY, has been issued another patent, this one for a novel software module designed to work with MRI scanners using multiple patient beds. The software is designed to increase the productivity of scanners using the multiple-bed configuration by allowing several scans to be conducted on the same machine simultaneously, according to a Fonar spokesperson.

MRI scanners in Fonar's new Quad line are open on all four sides, enabling patient beds to be attached to a scanner at any of the openings. Fonar last year received a patent for the technology (SCAN 4/24/96), which the company hopes will help it provide exams such as MRI breast screening at a cost of $80 to $150 per exam.

Last month's patent covers software that essentially allows the MRI scanner to keep up with the higher levels of throughput possible with the multiple-bed configuration, according to the spokesperson. It can, however, be used with all MRI scanners, not just the Quad line.

The software allows two or more patients to be scanned simultaneously, while a privacy shield can be installed in the scanner so that the patients feel they are receiving individual scans. The software should reduce scanner downtime and make MRI operation more efficient, according to Fonar.

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