MRIs Are the "Creme de la Creme" for Hospitals

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MRIs Are the "Creme de la Creme" for Hospitals

por Lynn Shapiro, Writer | May 28, 2008
Adult head/neck/spine
MRI coil array from
Resonance Innovations

You would never know that hospitals are tightening their belts by looking at Resonance Innovations LLC, Omaha, NE. The company makes an array of antennae that enhance the reception coming from the part of the body being imaged by an MRI.

Randall Jones, the company's President, describes the MRI business this way: "Within healthcare, diagnostic imaging is typically the largest revenue generator in the hospital and within diagnostic imaging, radiology is the largest. And MRIs are typically the largest revenue generators within radiology, which makes MRIs the crème de la crème."

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Randall, who refers to himself as one of those "geek engineers," is among the crème de la crème, himself. He has 10 U.S. patents in the MRI area and wrote his Ph.D. dissertation on new designs and techniques in developing MRI antennas, while a student at Texas A&M.

Currently, GE is marketing one of his products, called the head/neck/spine coil.

Jones says he makes a "plethora of coils," each shaped so it conforms to the part of the anatomy being diagnosed.

He says that in this high-precision business, he has only three or four competitors, all larger and older than Resonance Innovations, which has 8 employees on staff. Others cannot get into the coil-making business, he says, because the regulatory barriers to entry are so steep.

For instance, Resonance Innovations is certified ISO 13485, which is the regulatory standard that the U.S. and the European Union comply with. The products Jones manufactures are also subject to FDA marketing rules.

All in all, the company's future looks extremely promising. Jones, who is DOTmed certified, says his business has doubled in size this year and that he is hiring more engineers and is always looking for partnerships to help the company grow.

While designing MRI coils is Jones' calling, he has also expanded into the service business. "We have the engineering skills to get 'under the hood,' so we recognize others' proprietary coil circuitry and can diagnose and repair it," Jones says.