Distribution deal with NIR begins to bear fruitFonar CEO Dr. Raymond Damadian demonstrated that an inspired ideacan do the job of dozens of engineers spending millions of dollarsto devise new variations on MR technology. Damadian came up witha
Fonar CEO Dr. Raymond Damadian demonstrated that an inspired ideacan do the job of dozens of engineers spending millions of dollarsto devise new variations on MR technology. Damadian came up witha new approach to MRI imaging -- and a new product for Fonar --just by turning a Fonar Quad 7000 scanner on its side.
The product is Stand-Up MRI, an investigational 0.35-teslavertically open scanner for orthopedic and emergency-room applications.The novel configuration allows physicians to scan patients ina weight-bearing state, which is valuable to neurologists forevaluating suspected spinal injuries, such as spinal cord stenosis.Orthopods are interested in studies of weight-bearing anatomyof damaged knee ligaments and meniscal tears, Damadian said.
The Fonar CEO also envisions the scanner performing emergency-roomwork. Stand-up MRI potentially offers an opportunity to scan patientsstanding up, as is the case with chest x-rays. The exam couldbe used to confirm the absence of internal injury in trauma cases,he said.
The patient either stands or sits on an elevator positioningdevice installed between the two poles of the electromagnet. Theelevator rises to position the region of interest in the scanningarea. The patient bed can also be tilted in horizontal positionsfor multislice studies, or can be rotated into the Trendelenburgposition for MR angiography.
The work-in-progress system operates with existing Quad 7000surface coils. Fonar expects to begin marketing Stand-Up MRI withinthe next 18 months.
In other Fonar news, the company reported that a new distributorbrought on board to sell its MRI scanners has reported its firstorder for a Quad unit. National Imaging Resources and Fonar inNovember entered into an exclusive deal for sales of the Quadline, and NIR announced its first sale this month. The systemwas sold to A.S.A. Holding of Indianapolis, which intends to buyfour Quads and install them in freestanding imaging clinics inthe Midwest.
The deal between NIR and Fonar calls for NIR dealers to sella minimum of 30 units in the first year of the agreement, whichshould result in revenues for Fonar of $40 million.