On December 6th, 2023, during its Annual Symposium, CIBM Center for Biomedical Imaging celebrated a significant milestone with the inauguration of its new Low Field MRI scanner at the CHUV – Lausanne University Hospital. This event marks a pivotal advancement in the field of radiology, showcasing the potential of low-field MRI systems in modern medical imaging, harnessing AI and advanced computing to improve diagnostics while minimising environmental impact.
Low-field MRI systems, once overshadowed by higher field strengths like 1.5T and 3T, are experiencing a resurgence. The new scanner at CHUV will be the foundation for developing innovative MRI methodologies, leveraging AI, high-end computing, and novel mathematical concepts. Collaborations with leading researchers and clinicians aim to enhance the scanner’s capabilities, making it a powerful tool for diverse clinical applications, from neurology to oncology. This development aligns with the global need for more accessible MRI technology, especially in regions where healthcare budgets are constrained.
The inauguration event highlighted the collaborative efforts of various research groups led by renowned experts, focusing on enhancing image quality and broadening clinical applications. These studies explore its use in neurology, cardiology, oncology, and pulmonary imaging, aiming to make MRI more accessible and efficient while uncovering novel diagnostic biomarkers.
The clinical benefits of this new low-field MRI scanner are vast and varied. It promises to revolutionise the imaging of pulmonary diseases, making lung parenchyma more visible and reducing radiation exposure for cystic fibrosis patients. The scanner’s efficiency and operator independence in cardiac MRI will make cardiovascular imaging more accessible globally, particularly benefiting patients with congenital heart disease. Additionally, its compatibility with implants and devices opens new possibilities for interventional procedures without radiation exposure.
The inauguration of the Low Field MRI scanner at CHUV is more than just a technological advancement; it’s a step towards democratising medical imaging. It underscores CIBM’s commitment to pioneering research that not only pushes the boundaries of medical technology but also addresses the pressing need for sustainable and accessible healthcare solutions worldwide.