Technology: ‘Low-Field MRI’ Stroke Detection

Recently, low-field MRI scanners have become available that are portable, are cryogen-free, are easy to use, provide rapid patient loading and unloading, have minimal power requirements, and have relatively low purchase prices and maintenance costs. For some indications, including ischemic stroke, these MRI scanners are a welcomed addition to the clinical armamentarium, as they have the potential to improve some aspects of clinical care over the current standard of care.

For one, they offer rapid “point-of-care” imaging diagnosis. Owing to their reduced cost and portability, these scanners could be deployed in a myriad of new settings, such as at-large public gatherings (e.g., sporting events or rock concerts), rural health care centers, emergency rooms, and assisted living facilities. Future innovations in motion correction, noise remediation, and image data upload capabilities suggest the eventual use of these scanners in ambulances or even on the battlefield.

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