Siemens MRI offering fits smaller spaces

April 10, 1991

Siemens will introduce a compact 1-tesla MRI scanner next weekat the Society for Magnetic Resonance Imaging meeting in Chicago.The vendor claims its new offering will fit in more places thanmost mid-field scanners. The space requirement for the

Siemens will introduce a compact 1-tesla MRI scanner next weekat the Society for Magnetic Resonance Imaging meeting in Chicago.The vendor claims its new offering will fit in more places thanmost mid-field scanners.

The space requirement for the actively shielded system, labeledMagnetom Impact, is 450 square feet, down from over 750 squarefeet for Siemens' existing 1-tesla unit, said Chris Ruebeck, MRIproduct manager.

Trimmer siting specifications have been achieved partiallythrough the use of a modified active-shield magnet design fromOxford, Siemens' majority-controlled magnet supplier. Siemenshas also made overall design changes in the system, such as reducingthe number of computer/electronics cabinets from five to three,he said.

The active-shield magnet was formerly offered as an optionfor the 1-tesla Magnetom, at an additional cost of about $125,000.That feature is now standard on the Impact, offsetting a slightlyhigher overall price, Ruebeck said.

Hospital customers have proved willing to spend more to gainthe better image quality of a high-field versus mid-field MRIsystem. Unfortunately, greater siting costs combined with thehigher ticket price of a 1-tesla system often pushed the overallcost too high, he said.

MRI costs are reduced when less hospital space is needed foran installation. Siemens has also cut its installation time forthe Impact to about four weeks, compared to an industry averageof six to eight weeks. Impact's lighter weight trims structuralreinforcement requirements as well, he said.

In addition to cost concerns, the proliferation of MRI systemshas resulted in more requests by hospitals to fit scanners intotighter spaces, Ruebeck said.

Siemens' goal for the Impact was to reduce the space requirementfor Impact below that of major mid-field MRI competitors, Ruebecksaid. Both GE's MR Max and Philips' T5 require more space, hesaid.