Forecasting issues before they arise with MR remote monitoring

por John W. Mitchell, Senior Correspondent | September 19, 2018
Currently, more than 85 percent of Philips
MR units are connected to its analytics platform.
From the September 2018 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

Extreme weather can wreak havoc on the environmental systems needed to keep an MR unit up and running, so when thunderstorms and summer monsoons begin to rage, that’s when the phone starts ringing at Southwest Medical Resources (SWMR). As technology advances and concerns about extreme weather increase, the company is one of many striving to meet the growing demand for around-the-clock MR systems monitoring.

The company had just picked up two new MR remote monitoring contracts in Arizona due to recent violent weather, according to Don McCormack III, technical sales/field services engineer in the company’s Southern California office. He said SWMR currently monitors nearly 300 MR units for a host of environmental conditions, with another 200 MRs likely to come online for remote monitoring coverage by the end of the year.

“It was 119 degrees here last week,” McCormack told HCB News. “With our Remote Diagnostic Unit monitoring, we’re seeing how [a client’s] air conditioning unit is running a little bit weak on a hot day. We’re telling them ahead of time that they need their air conditioning serviced before it breaks, because we're seeing a variance off a steady line that didn't used to be there."
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Through its eWatch platform, Canon Medical Systems can monitor the MR environment in real time. Coupled with InnerVision, another platform that brings remote monitoring to image quality, Canon’s InTouch team has comprehensive information to identify emerging problems and alert operators before they become too serious.

Describing the scanner OEM’s approach to remote monitoring as “holistic”, Satrajit Misra, vice president of marketing at Canon Medical Systems, told HCB News that the environmental monitoring of eWatch has proven to be a valuable service to their customers. “It allows us to proactively go in and top off the helium, or if we detect humidity building up or there is a problem in the chiller lines – it’s always a good story if you can prevent a failure.”

With a customer-facing web-based portal, Canon's remote tracking also provides an array of data and information back to the user so they know the health of their MR scanners and other imaging systems.

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