Four reasons Tampa General added portable MR

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Four reasons Tampa General added portable MR

por Gus Iversen, Editor in Chief | December 28, 2020
Emergency Medicine MRI
Photo courtesy: Tampa General Hospital
Tampa General Hospital has announced it is the first hospital in Florida, and one of the first in the U.S., to obtain and use a Swoop portable MR scanner.

The system, developed by Hyperfine Research, enables clinicians to obtain neurological images of critically ill patients at the point of care quickly, conveniently and with results that are comparable to traditional MR. The scanner initially turned heads at the 2019 RSNA meeting in Chicago, and received FDA clearance in August of 2020.

"Using innovative technology that makes it easier for our patients to receive world-class care goes to the heart of Tampa General's mission," said John Couris, hospital president and CEO, in a statement. "We are always seeking new solutions that can help our patients get the diagnosis and treatment they need more quickly and easily."

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Unlike traditional MR scanners, Swoop was intentionally designed with technology that is useable in intensive care units and other hospital rooms where metal objects are common, making the experience more convenient for patients and providers. The system, which is equipped with a .064 Tesla magnet, requires no shielding.

"When a baby or child gets an MR, the parents have to stay outside and it's frightening for everyone," said radiologist Dr. Krishna Nallamshetty, Tampa General's chief of staff. "With the baby lying in a tunnel, parents feel far, far away. With this, the parent can be with the child as they are getting scanned, potentially eliminating the need for sedation."

Nallamshetty cited four potential advantages of Swoop:

  • Scanning patients in the Emergency Department, decreasing wait times and speeding diagnosis
  • Scanning COVID-19 patients at the bedside, decreasing the risks of transporting infectious patients through the hospital
  • Improved monitoring of patients in the Neuro Intensive Care Unit as they recover
  • Scanning babies and children in their hospital rooms and allowing family members to stay at the bedside

In September, a team at Yale New Haven published research in the Journal of the American Medical Association – Neurology showing the scanner found evidence of ischemic stroke, hemorrhagic stroke, subarachnoid hemorrhage, traumatic brain injury, and brain tumors in patients who showed signs of neurological symptoms.

It also was used to analyze 20 patients with severe COVID-19 symptoms, many of whom were too sick to be moved to an MR suite for a neurological diagnosis. Eight were found to have neurological abnormalities.

Tampa General Hospital will be sharing data with Hyperfine to help evaluate and refine the performance of the new device.

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