Philips Rolls Out First-of-its-Kind 3.0T MRI

Philips’ new Achieva 3.0T TX Mobile MRI delivers the same power and performance as its stationery machine but is transportable in a 48-foot trailer.

Many hospitals cannot afford to purchase a 3.0T MRI. Now they can lease the powerful modality… on wheels.

Philips recently introduced the Achieva 3.0T TX Mobile MRI, the world’s first mobile 3T MRI system with MultiTransmit. Philips describes the mobile system as having the same performance and innovative imaging technology as their stationary 3.0T TX system but with the added value of being fully transportable in a 48-foot trailer. This mobile system now makes advanced MRI diagnostic technology available to an even wider patient base.

The Achieva 3.0T TX Mobile MRI has the same ease of use and setup time as many 1.5T scanners, but with the higher resolution and clarity that were once available only in sophisticated research institutions. This platform has the potential to make 3T technology more accessible to hospitals interested in MRI beyond 1.5T, such as facilities that want to conduct high-end applications and want to facilitate research studies.

When asked about the need for a mobile 3T MRI system, Maurits Wolleswinkel, senior director of Global Product Marketing, MRI, Philips Healthcare, explained that it brings higher MRI diagnostic quality to hospitals that wouldn’t typically have access to 3T. Alternatively, it can be used as a temporary additional 3T system to reduce patient workload, or as a temporary replacement 3T in situations where the existing 3T MRI scanners in the hospital are upgraded.

Some additional features of this system include active magnetic shielding, which permits the lightweight high field magnet to be transported in the trailer. The Achieva 3.0T TX Mobile also features MultiTransmit, Philips’ patient-adaptive parallel transmit RF technology, which utilizes multiple radio-frequency transmission signals to automatically adjust to each patient’s unique size and shape.

With the MRI system completely self-contained within the truck, the only requirements for running the mobile unit are a mobile pad and driveway to the mobile pad for the truck, as well as a 400V power connection. When compared to a stationary 3T, the Achieva 3.0TX only requires the additional costs associated with the trailer, the installation in the trailer, and its service costs.

One of the business models is that service providers could offer access to diagnostic imaging equipment, in this case a mobile 3T, that facilities can lease for a certain amount of time, explained Wolleswinkel. “Customers tell us they like the ability to share among different centers and at times they would rather lease a mobile unit instead of purchasing a stationary MRI.”

COBALT, a leading medical charity in the UK, was the first to purchase a Philips Achieva 3.0T TX Mobile MRI. The charity teamed up with Philips to showcase this mobile MRI platform in its trailer, at the Radiological Conference (UKRC) in Birmingham, UK, on June 7-9, 2010.

Philips’ mobile 3T units are currently available in the United States. The units have been used to provide care in different locations to patients such as veterans and to provide research capabilities across facilities. The Achieva 3.0T TX Mobile MRI is now poised to provide a temporary or more permanent solution for medical facilities across the United States.

Carol Dawson