By Andrew Liszewski
While it can be an essential tool for diagnosing what’s wrong with a patient, MRI machines are large, noisy, expensive and can be extremely uncomfortable to be inside. Many people find them cramped and claustrophobic, which can be particularly difficult since you have to lie perfectly still for long periods of time to get a clean image. So GE has created a considerably smaller MRI machine that’s specifically designed to be used for imaging a patient’s limb.
Besides requiring smaller rooms and being considerably more affordable for a hospital, the new Optima MR430s is also far more comfortable for the patient. They sit or recline in an adjustable padded chair and insert their arm or leg into the machine. And since they’re more comfortable while the MRI is doing its thing, they’re less prone to moving about which results in clearer images and results. What sets GE’s new compact MRI machine apart from other compact solutions is that it still uses a powerful 1.5T (Teslas) magnet which means there are no compromises when it comes to image quality. And while the MR430s is limited in that it can only handle limbs, it does free up a hospital’s full-body machine when only a limited part of a patient’s body needs to be imaged.