Feature | December 31, 2012

Technology Improvements Fuel Appetite for Imaging Quality and MR Features

MR images are getting better and scanners are faster, but providers continue to ask for more features to improve patient comfort and care

MRI 2012: Broadening Your Field of View KLS MRI Systems

December 31, 2012 — The introduction of new technology into the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) landscape has changed the face of the market segment over the last year. Although MRI satisfaction scores tend to cluster together, the differences are in the details, according to recent findings from healthcare technology research firm KLAS in its report MRI 2012: Broadening Your Field of View.

Philips, who was in last place in the 2011 KLAS MRI report with their Achieva 1.5T MR, takes first place this year with its newly ranked Ingenia 1.5T MR scanner, receiving an overall score of 92.2 (out of 100). Siemens’ MAGNETOM Aera 1.5T also appears in the KLAS report for the first time and is ranked fourth out of the five vendors, earning an overall KLAS performance score of 87.

“Philips was able to leapfrog other vendors in the study with the Ingenia in part due to their new coils system. Providers in this study identified coils as an area where they would like to see more development,” said Kirk Ising, author of the report and strategic operations director at KLAS. “Some vendors are further along than others. The Ingenia coils that are not channel specific allow providers to upgrade their coils more easily.”

GE’s GEM coils are their first generation of integrated coils, which most customers like, but they feel that extremity coils need more development. Toshiba customers like the new flex coils because they are more comfortable and easier to use, but some said the head coil causes discomfort for patients.

Siemens’ integrated Tim coils are lighter and less cumbersome, but a few providers want better sizes and a better variety of coils. Hitachi’s Echelon does not have integrated coils, but their new Echelon Oval scanner — which is not yet rated by KLAS — has that functionality.

Patient comfort was also top of mind for providers that participated in this study. Providers said that faster scan speeds (31 percent) were the number-one feature that improved patient satisfaction, followed by quieter scanners (22 percent), better lighting (19 percent), airflow improvements (16 percent) and shorter bore length (16 percent).

For more information: www.KLASresearch.com/KLAS reports


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