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A Better Brain Scanner

February 19, 2008

A new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) device that fits the subject’s head like a helmet could speed up brain scans and improve their resolution. Where a conventional MRI machine might have 12 detection coils, the new system instead uses 32 small coils that are closer to the head, yielding a clearer signal. The system can produce more-accurate maps of vital brain areas, so doctors can avoid them during surgery. Eventually, it might also distinguish different types of tumors, aiding treatment decisions.

Product: Siemens coil helmet
Cost: 60,000 to 100,000 euros
Source: www.siemens.com/healthcare
Companies: Siemens

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