Philips debuts AI-equipped MRI machines plus spectral angio-CT combination scanners

Described as the world’s first spectral detector angio-CT solution, Philips has combined its Spectral CT 7500 with the Azurion imaging platform with its FlexArm mount. The company also debuted AI-equipped MRI machines and an accompanying radiology software suite at RSNA 2021. (Philips)

Philips raised the curtain on a new portfolio of smart MRI machines equipped with artificial intelligence programs to help speed up image acquisition and diagnosis as well as a new scanner combining spectral CT with real-time, image-guided therapy hardware.

The company also unveiled software for radiology control room consoles that aims to guide technicians through a scan and automate certain aspects of their workflow, including exam preparation and image post-processing.

The MR 5300 1.5T system, which received an FDA 510(k) clearance, includes a fully sealed, helium-free scanner, making it suitable for use in outpatient clinics as well as well-equipped hospital radiology departments. Previous imagers have required a steady supply of liquid helium refills to cool down the MRI’s magnets.

Meanwhile, the more powerful MR 7700 3.0T system can apply multinuclei clinical exams—such as spectroscopy tests to examine the inner metabolism of tumor cells—and is designed to handle advanced neuroscience and research applications. Both systems made their debut at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

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“At this year’s RSNA, we are focused on introducing scalable high performance MR systems to the imaging enterprise, with intelligent software built in to automate tasks to help relieve the burden on radiology staff and departments,” Philips’ general manager of MR, Arjen Radder, said in a statement.

To shorten the amount of time needed to complete a scan and increase patient throughput, Philips’ new SmartSpeed program applies deep-learning algorithms directly to the scanner’s MR signal output. The software acquires less data through 2D and 3D sampling patterns and then reconstructs the image to a higher diagnostic quality, as opposed to other AI applications that may be applied later down the line in a postprocessing step.

The faster scanning times are also expected to benefit patients experiencing pain and those who may struggle to hold their breath during an exam as well as those who have implants, such as MR-compatible pacemakers.

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At RSNA, Philips is also presenting what it describes as the world’s first spectral detector angio-CT solution, combining spectral detector CT imaging with real-time fluoroscopy for use in cardiovascular procedures.

Launched through a development collaboration with the Mayo Clinic and Baptist Health’s Cardiac & Vascular Institute in Miami, the image-guided therapy system merges two key modalities so surgeons can perform procedures requiring both CT and angiography guidance in a single room without having to move the patient. 

Both component systems—including Philips’ Spectral CT 7500 and the Azurion imaging platform with its FlexArm mount—can be used independently and controlled from the same tableside console.