The MRI scanner also has the potential to reach patients in far-flung areas, thanks to its portability.
Medical tests and scans are prohibitively expensive, but as reported in The Hindu, MRI scans may get cheaper thanks to this fantastic innovation by a group of engineers at Voxelgrids, incubated by the Tata Trust’s Foundation for innovation and Social Entrepreneurship (FISE).
According to a media statement, the trust said that the 1.5 Tesla, whole-body MRI scanner could make MRI scans four times faster, compared to other available scanners, while consuming less power. It is also portable, thanks to its lightweight build, and FISE claims that the whole system can be truck-mounted, and transported to rural areas for the real-time imaging of patients.
The initiative can significantly reduce the cost of an MRI scan, and will expand the scope of diseases that MRI scans can diagnose, according to a statement by the trust.
Bengaluru-based Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Studies is the clinical partner for the initiative and is the location where the system will first be installed.
From August–December 2018, the team will be working on human clinical trials for the scanner, as well as the design plans for manufacturing. They aim to launch the product in the market by 2019.
The scanner will be manufactured in India, and an investment of Rs 10 crore would be made towards the same, according to Manoj Kumar, Tata Trusts Head (Innovation and Entrepreneurship) and CEO, FISE.
The CEO, explaining the idea behind the innovation, said the aim is to reduce MRI scan costs and make it accessible to all patients—part of an endeavour by the FISE to promote socially relevant innovations and entrepreneurship, to create a large-scale sustainable social impact.
Mr Ratan Tata, the Chairman of Tata Trusts, complimented the MRI project team and said that he was pleased with their innovation and entrepreneurship, creativity, hard-work and endurance.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)