Chennai: Global Hospitals on Saturday inaugurated the country’s first wide-bore 3T Silent Scan MRI with MAGiC, which can reportedly reduce scan time by as much as 67%, at its hospital in Perumbakkam, Chennai. The hospital also inaugurated GE Healthcare’s Discovery IQ PET/CT system that can assist in diagnosis, staging and post treatment monitoring of cancer.
MRI scans are among the most advanced tools available to image a host of medical conditions that assist the clinician in their diagnosis. However, when people undergoing the MRI scans are questioned, the excessive noise and the duration they have to spend in the machine are reported as two of their biggest concerns areas. GE Healthcare’s Signa Pioneer MRI system aims to address these two concerns, according to a statement.
A conventional MRI scanner produces noise of about 110 decibels (dBA), rivalling noises from a steel mill, an aircraft engine or heavy traffic on roads. This loud noise causes patient discomfort and distress, which may affect the quality of scan outcome. GE Healthcare addresses this issue with the help of wide-bore Silent Scan technology. This enables a less stressful scanning experience. The noise level produced due to Silent Scan is as low as three decibels above ambient noise level (74 dBA). The Silent Scan technology was co-developed in India.
The magnetic resonance image compilation (MAGiC) technology, which has been introduced for the first time in India, helps in reducing scanning time by as much as 67%. Due to this technology a person can undergo a scan in about 5 minutes compared to the traditional 16-20 minutes.
MAGiC technology allows capture of multiple image contrast of a body part through a single scan, instead of one scan for each contrast, thereby significantly reducing the time for scan. MAGiC also gives doctors the flexibility to retrospectively change the contrast even after the scan is completed and the patient is discharged, thus saving the need of re-scan should there be such a requirement from the doctor.
“We are delighted to partner with a leading healthcare provider like Global Hospitals to bring these latest technologies for the benefit of people in Chennai,” said Milan Rao, President and CEO, GE Healthcare, India and South Asia.
MR Elastography in Signa Pioneer is designed to enable physicians to evaluate relative liver and muscle tissue stiffness, which help them make an assessment of tissue health before clinical symptoms become visible. MRE is fast emerging as a reliable alternative to invasive tissue biopsies, with reduced cost, pain and faster results. MRE cost significantly less, is non-invasive and can give results within 30 minutes compared to 72 hours for biopsies, the statement said.
Molecular imaging using Positron Emission Tomography–Computed Tomography (PET/CT), with its capabilities to combine anatomical and functional aspects of the body to provide a complete picture of patient’s health, is considered as a decisive tool for diagnosis, treatment staging as well as monitoring the progress of treatment, while also reducing overall treatment cost.
Healthcare providers not only want the ability to detect smaller lesions, but also the ability to accurately determine whether the patient is responding to current treatment. When using CT alone, up to six cycles of chemotherapy may be required to determine if the treatment is effective. PET/CT can help speed up treatment, because metabolic changes in a tumour occur more frequently than structural changes. It is a more accurate and reliable solution that can help clinicians determine how well a treatment is working after as few as 1 to 2 cycles of chemotherapy, and they will be able to tailor the treatment according to individual patient’s response and needs, according to the statement.
India accounts for 8% of the world’s cancer prevalence (about 3 million) with over 1 million new cases reported every year and more than 500,000 deaths every year from this condition. Breast cancer is the fastest growing in terms of incidence for women and kills the most. Prostate cancer is the fastest growing in terms of incidence for men, while lung cancer kills the most men.
India has a very low penetration of radiotherapy centres (cancer centre with radiation facility) with only 0.4 centres per million population (as against 12.3 in the US, 5.04 in the UK and 1.1 in China) and only 7% of the 640 districts have more than one linear Accelerator. This coupled with limited availability of oncologist or cancer specialists is limiting access to cancer care for majority of the patients.