GE Healthcare unveils AI program bundle for simplified MRI scans

GE Healthcare has launched a new artificial intelligence platform that aims to simplify much of the leg work in conducting an MRI scan, with software designed for technologists with little to no previous experience.

The SIGNA Experience combines AI- and deep learning-powered programs with easy-to-position magnetic coils to assist staff in readying the company’s SIGNA scanners and obtaining clear diagnostic images as fast as possible.

Built with an eye on expanding the use of MR imaging in emerging markets outside the U.S., the new offering is centered around SIGNA One, a simplified computer interface that is currently only available on GE’s smaller, 1.5T SIGNA Prime scanner. With programs designed to allow the user to prescribe and perform an exam with only a few clicks, the company said in a release the interface has “virtually no learning curve.”

Alongside that, AI interpretation software such as the company’s AIR Recon DL—which received an expanded clearance from the FDA earlier this year—can be used to derive more signal information from faster scans and different imaging techniques. 

Meanwhile, workflow solutions like AIR x and AIR Touch guide technologists through setting up the equipment, including the company’s external AIR coils, and can help automate the next steps for a patient following a scan. GE’s AIR Recon DL, workflow software and coils are separately available for a wider range of the company’s scanners.

“SIGNA Experience was designed in response to today’s industry pressures, to help achieve operational efficiency and simplicity, as clinicians face a significant volume of non-urgent backlog scans caused largely by the impact of COVID-19, radiologist shortages and staff burnout, as well as today’s growing disease burden,” Jie Xue, President and CEO of magnetic resonance for GE Healthcare, said in a release. Xue was recently named one of 2022’s Fiercest Women in Life Sciences.

The SIGNA Experience unveiling came during the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America—where, last year, GE Healthcare raised the curtain on AI platforms embedded on mobile X-ray machines, as well as an AI-powered assistant for image-guided therapy procedures.

At RSNA this year, the company—which is set to strike out on its own following a spinoff from the GE conglomerate in 2023—also previewed the upcoming SIGNA Victor scanner, which will incorporate the SIGNA Experience platform. The newest 1.5T system will aim to address the sharp increase in demand for MR examinations, the company said, as providers continue to tackle the backlog built up during the COVID-19 pandemic while working with fewer technicians following labor shortages.