A new top of the range MRI scanner is now ready for use at Hendon Hospital that will greatly improve patient diagnosis.
The £1.2 million Voyager MRI scanner is the latest launch by GE Healthcare and is one of the first of its kind to be deployed in the UK.
This comes as part of a £125 million investment programme for 2022 from private healthcare organisation Circle Health Group.
Hendon Hospital executive director Stephen Wright said: “I am delighted that we will have an upgraded state of the art scanning facility at Hendon Hospital.
“This advanced MRI scanner will provide a better patient experience, as scans can be undertaken in a shorter time, and will also provide superior image quality, for the patients of north London and beyond.”
Imaging lead for Hendon Hospital Samia Ramdani manages the radiology and cardiology departments and oversees patient’s scans in the new machine.
She explained that the new machine has built-in MRI coils replacing the more uncomfortable system where patients had to lie in between two separate sets of coils for the imaging to work.
Ramdani said: “It makes it a lot easier to work with and it makes a huge difference to patients.
“You don’t feel as claustrophobic. We now have capacity for more patients because its scanning is much quicker than the old machines.
“It’s bigger too and the whole room has been made up new so it’s a more relaxing environment.”
Patients who have private healthcare and a referral will be able to use this machine but Ramdani did say that they helped out with NHS waiting lists, particularly after Covid.
The machine deals with investigating orthopaedics, muscle, bone and soft tissue injuries, injuries to the abdomen, gynaecological problems, neurological inspection and many more problems.
Ramdani said: “It’s very vast what it deals with. It’s pretty much everything.”
Hendon is in the process of training staff to use the machine for scans of the heart and of breasts too which they cannot do yet.
Previously they were able to carry this out in old machines but it was stopped.
With the introduction of this faster machine and the greater capacity for use it brings they are looking to bring back these modalities for MRI in the hospital.
Ramdani said: “The only thing that is a disadvantage is that MRI is noisy, but we give headphones and we give ear plugs.
“There is no known harm from MRI to humans so far.”
The machine will last a good 10-12 years of service and will help in thousands of patients’ diagnosis.