FONAR Corporation is announcing the installation of its Fonar 360™, the world’s first room-size MRI, at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre in Oxford, England. Because the scanner offers an unrestricted access to the patient from all directions, it is perfectly suited for future MRI-guided surgical or interventional procedure rooms:
The FONAR 360°™ is a full-size room with a standard eight-foot ceiling. The magnetic poles of the scanner are located in the center of the room; one of them protrudes from the ceiling and the other from the floor. The patient is comfortably positioned in the large space, or gap, between the two poles and is accessible from any angle.
The OPEN SKY MRI™ takes advantage of the extreme openness created by the revolutionary design of this scanner which naturally lends itself to any of FONAR’s beautiful OPEN SKY™ decors. As can be seen in the accompanying photograph, the walls, floor, ceiling, even the magnetic poles, are decorated with one of several stunning landscape murals. There is even one for children featuring favorite cartoon and nursery rhyme characters.
When patients enter the OPEN SKY MRI™ scan room, they immediately experience a sense of vastness and tranquility. Patients enjoy the quietness (attributable to FONAR’s patented Whisper Gradients™) and beauty of the oceanfront, the mountains, the Great Plains – whatever the chosen landscape. Patients will tell their friends and family they went to the beach instead of to a frightening tunnel. Few in need of an MRI scan will be able to resist its appeal.
The key to FONAR’s success as “The Patient Friendly MRI™ Company” is its patented Iron-Frame™ technology, which allows FONAR engineers to fully control, contour and direct the magnet’s lines of flux in a variety of structural configurations. It also enables the placement of a very high concentration of flux in the patient gap where wanted and almost none away from the magnet where not wanted. In the case of the FONAR 360°™, FONAR engineers created the ultimate in openness by including the floor, ceiling and sidewalls in the iron frame itself. Patients don’t realize it, but the scanner room is literally the inside of the MRI magnet. The height of the ceiling is 8 feet; the width of the room is 14 feet; and its depth is unlimited.
Great news? Indeed, but with a caveat. No ferromagnetic metals are allowed in the room. And that applies to surgical instruments, anesthesia machine and equipment, oxygen tanks, and everything else that can fly in a strong magnetic field. Ceramic surgical tools are available, but many hurdles make these surgeries exceedingly difficult to implement. Probably not for your community hospital quite yet.
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