After two straight solution-centric RSNAs, Philips’ RSNA 2021 booth will be headlined by a pair of new MR systems (plus some MR solutions) and a major focus on operational efficiency.
MR 5300 – The FDA-cleared MR 5300 (1.5T) is Philips’ second helium-free BlueSeal MR scanner, arriving three years after the Ingenia Ambition X, and launching with new AI-powered features intended to automate clinical and operational tasks. Philips also emphasized the image quality advantages of the MR 5300’s 55cm field-of-view and dStream Breeze coils.
MR 7700 – Philips’ forthcoming MR 7700 system (3T) is positioned for both clinical and research use, although its features and messaging largely emphasize its value to researchers. The MR 7700 boasts new multinuclear clinical capabilities, including diffusion imaging and advanced neuroscience sequences, while its XP gradients (65 mT/m) support neuroscience.
MR Workspace – Philips’ new MR Workspace is intended to support technologist productivity, providing a dashboard that automates the planning and execution of many routine scans and supports decision making by suggesting the most suitable Exam Card for each patient. MR Workspace will be included with all new and installed Philips MR scanners.
Philips SmartSpeed – The SmartSpeed image reconstruction platform is designed to speed up image acquisition and enhance image quality, leveraging Philips’ Compressed SENSE acquisition technique and AI to reconstruct full images from under-sampled data, “while maintaining virtually equivalent image quality.”
The Takeaway – Philips’ MR lineup has been relatively quiet during the last few years, while its main MR competitors made some solid progress (particularly w/ reconstruction, operability, comfort, and low-helium tech). It seems like that won’t be the case at RSNA 2021.
Siemens Healthineers’ Shape 22 pre-RSNA event featured a pair of ambitious hardware announcements that stand to expand what can be done with CT exams and where MRIs can be performed.
NAEOTOM Alpha PCCT – Siemens Healthineers confirmed its pole position in the Photon-Counting CT race, officially launching its NAEOTOM Alpha scanner. Although the NAEOTOM Alpha already received a rare marketing head-start from the FDA, this week’s launch begins its official 2022 rollout, and provides new details about this milestone product:
- Far higher image quality than CT
- Provides much more imaging data and new levels of CT-based insights
- Expands CT to new cardiac, oncology, and pulmonology use cases
- Allows 50% lower radiation dosage, could shift exams to non-contrast
- Supports Siemens’ core solutions, including operability and AI-based diagnosis
- Cleared in US and Europe, 20 systems already installed, 8k patients scanned
- PCCT expected to become the main CT technology within 10 years
- Siemens is holding another NAEOTOM Alpha event today (Nov. 18)
- Siemens might be first, but we’re seeing more PCCT activity from GE Healthcare, and Canon and Philips aren’t far behind
MAGNETOM Free.Star MRI – One year after introducing the MRI-expanding MAGNETOM Free.Max, Siemens continued its MRI accessibility push, revealing the “disruptively simple” MAGNETOM Free.Star. The new Free.Star MRI will inherit much of the MAGNETOM Free.Max’s accessibility-friendly qualities (0.55T, small/light, low helium & installation requirements), and will have the ambitious goal of supporting the half of the world’s population that doesn’t have MRI access. The MAGNETOM Free.Star is still early-stage (it hasn’t begun the FDA process), but it’s massive healthcare ambitions make it worth keeping an eye on.
The Takeaway – The NAEOTOM Alpha is expected to be the start of a major shift towards Photon-Counting CT, while the new MAGNETOM Free.Max and Free.Star could expand where MRIs are used. That makes these extremely significant products.