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Michael Friebe’s 28th private, slightly biased, and as always subjective report

December 03, 2019

BEST highlighted a small compact system to produce PET nuclides. A very special system for special needs, but as a former operator of PET/CT systems I was quite impressed. And then there was HYPERFINE! I started my diagnostic imaging career as R&D engineer for one of the very early MRI innovators — DIASONICS in South San Francisco (later bought by TOSHIBA now CANON) and heavily involved in the development of a 640G (64mT or 40x less magnetic field strength than a 3 T magnet) open MRI system. This system was subsequently sold 500 times!

And now we have HYPERFINE, a point of care MRI with 640G!! I do not remember why we picked 640G at the time, but I am totally excited about the resurrection of such an ultra-low field MRI. Image quality is decent and the system runs for quite a bit less than €100.000 — I happen to know a couple of other companies that are working on alternative concepts using low field magnets. And it could also be the basis for an interventional MRI concept ... a topic that I work on since 1993!

And then I saw this beautiful full ring detector CT from NANOVISION, which reminded me of one of the first CT systems that I worked with, a PICKER PQ that also had a full ring detector. That was also a very cool system at the time.

Are some older technologies and technology approaches coming back? Why not, if it makes sense for dedicated applications!

This year my university chair — and companies that we have worked with for years — again had our own booth (3752 in Hall A) under the header GERMAN AUSTRIAN EXCELLENCE NETWORK IN INTERVENTIONAL RADIOLOGY. A honorable mention also to another company and research chair from our university with a joint booth (NEOSCAN/Stimulate) highlighting a neonatal MRI system development.

We were very happy with the attendance and interest in our patented prototype designs — we had high calibre visitors from all the mentioned OEM‘s and many others.

We hope that we can continue and expand the established relationships as we will reorganize our research setup at the university.

After 5 rather successful years as Professor of Image Guided Therapies I will drastically reduce my engagement at the university with the beginning of 2020, but still be responsible for our INNOLAB IMAGE GUIDED THERAPIES at the medical faculty and with that for UNMET CLINICAL NEED INNOVATION. You will see me in 2020 in a new and challenging role at the intersection of future oriented MEDTEC INNOVATION GENERATION and COMMERCIALIZATION. But no decision made yet where and what!
Look forward meeting and interacting with you next year! An exciting 12 month to everyone! Connect via LinkedIN + TWITTER

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