Recently, at HA Connect!, the 17th annual national conference on hydrocephalus, Hyperfine—creator of Swoop, the first FDA-cleared portable magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) device—announced a new software enhancement that enables brain scans in under three minutes with no ionizing radiation. This development is especially significant for young hydrocephalus patients, who may have difficulty staying still without sedation and have previously received a CT scan, which has radiation exposure due to lack of MRI access.

Hyperfine is an official partner with the Hydrocephalus Association (HA), the nation’s most widely respected organization dedicated to research and advocacy of hydrocephalus. This complex disease accounts for over 40,000 hospital admissions each year.

Children suffering from hydrocephalus typically receive more than two brain scans per year to ensure that pressure on the brain caused by enlarged ventricles remains normal and to rule out the possibility of shunt malfunctions. Clinicians may do these brain scans with CT or MRI, but MRI is not always available. Published studies show that even a single pediatric head CT scan increases the risk of radiation-associated malignancy, potentially up to two times as much as those children that did not have a CT scan. In short, pediatric head CT scans pose a significant health risk to children with hydrocephalus.

“There is no way to prevent hydrocephalus, and there is no known cure. Young people diagnosed with this life-threatening neurological condition require life-long brain monitoring,” said Hyperfine Chief Medical Officer Dr. Khan Siddiqui. “Hyperfine designed the Swoop system to bring low-field MRI to the point of care. This unique ability allows young patients to be imaged sooner, avoid harmful ionizing radiation, stay close to their caregivers, and eliminates the intimidating experience of transport and lengthy wait times often associated with traditional MR imaging.”

The recent FDA clearance of this software upgrade includes a T1 Standard sequence optimized for imaging the inside of the brain and a Fast T2 sequence that provides images that can aid in the assessment of brain ventricles. This clearance supports the commitment of Hyperfine to drive innovation in portable low-field MRI and deliver product enhancements clinicians can use to improve patient care.

HA Connect!, Hydrocephalus Association’s National Conference, is the largest conference in the world for hydrocephalus and draws hundreds of families, researchers, and medical professionals annually. Hydrocephalus Association President and CEO Diana Gray shared her enthusiasm about the Swoop system stating, “We are always excited to witness progress in the care and treatment of hydrocephalus. The capacity to provide a faster, fully accessible MRI free from harmful radiation is invaluable and will transform the pathway to diagnosis and treatment.”

At HA Connect!, Hyperfine will have an interactive all-ages learning program exploring the origins of MRI, multiple images from hydrocephalus patient scans, a guessing game of scanned fruits, and LEGO® bricks to construct miniature replicas of the Hyperfine Swoop Portable MR Imaging System.