Hyperfine Research, Inc. is demonstrating the world’s first bedside, portable, point-of-care MRI (POCMRI) system at the 2019 Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) annual meeting. The Hyperfine POCMRI is ultra-compact, standing 3 feet wide and 5 feet tall, and is currently 510(k) submitted for clinical brain imaging. The key to the Hyperfine POCMRI is the ability to use ordinary permanent magnets, which require no power or cooling, to produce an MR image. Hyperfine’s goal is to produce images that provide significant clinical value. Hyperfine is collaborating with top-tier partners to evaluate the clinical utility and efficacy of POCMRI.
The Hyperfine POCMRI can operate in an open environment and requires no special shielding. This means that the Hyperfine POCMRI can conduct MRI in electromagnetically noisy environments — in hospitals and beyond. MRI has no associated cancer risk, and the Hyperfine POCMRI produces no ionizing radiation. Instead, the Hyperfine POCMRI uses ultra-low magnetic fields and low-power radio waves to do imaging of the brain and other body parts. Early clinical results show that the Hyperfine POCMRI can image brain disease and brain injury using scans that are about 5-10 minutes long.
Critical to POCMRI is advanced computing. Since the very first MRI of a human subject, computing power has increased a billion times relative to cost. Hyperfine is using GPU computing to enable clinical MRI with 20-40 times less magnetic field than that of current standard-of-care hospital MRI. Lower magnetic field means lower power requirements; the POCMRI requires only a standard electrical power outlet for operation. Lower magnetic field also means less weight. The POCMRI sits on a motorized drive and can be wheeled from hospital bed to hospital bed and be taken up and down standard elevators.
Hyperfine was founded by Jonathan M. Rothberg, PhD, founder of Butterfly Network, Inc. Hyperfine has chosen to partner with NVIDIA Corporation to help implement next-generation MRI computing architecture. NVIDIA is the leader in artificial intelligence hardware and software across cloud, edge, and now embedded platforms. NVIDIA has recently announced the release of the Clara AGX and EGX Edge healthcare computing systems. Hyperfine will work with NVIDIA to integrate Clara AGX into the Hyperfine ecosystem. In addition to presenting in its own exhibition booth (#7765), the Hyperfine system will be present in the NVIDIA booth #10939 at RSNA 2019 on Sunday, December 1, 2019.