In today's fast moving medical landscape, imaging facilities often consider renting a mobile MRI system. A mobile imaging system is most likely the largest equipment your imaging practice will ever have delivered. Siemens is a very popular imaging brand when it comes to which MRI machines mobile providers are installing in their mobile clinic. As a result, one of the questions we often get from potential mobile renters is, “What are the differences among Siemens’ mobile MRI systems?”
To help answer that question, below we’ll compare the four 1.5T Siemens MRI systems you’re most likely to find in a mobile setting.
The 4-channel (also available in a version with an 8-channel head) Symphony is very common in the market. Its tenure and popularity bring several benefits to renters: high parts and service availability, a range of gradients from Turbo, to Ultra, Sprint, and Quantum, and amplitude/slew rates of 25-125. One of the largest benefits though, is economy. The Symphony is a reliable workhorse, but with a few more years under its belt, comes in on the lower end of the rental price spectrum.
The Avanto hits the sweet spot of affordability, availability, and capability. In addition to Q-Engine and SQ-Engine gradients with amplitude/slew rates between 125 and 200, it features Siemens’ Total Imaging Matrix (TIM) advancements in a 60cm bore system. Images form the Avanto are a favorite for many radiologists. The 60cm bore and incredible magnet homogeneity empower a mobile Avanto to provide stunning pictures.
Because the Espree was introduced at roughly the same time, the supply of Avanto mobiles is still low, pushing the cost to rent an Avanto to a bracket just below the Espree.
The Espree is showing up in the mobile market with more regularity these days. With a 70cm bore and TIM technology, these are high-performance systems. Unique to the Espree is a very short bore length (125cm vs. the typical 145cm), enabling head-out or feet-first scanning for most exams- a CT-like level of comfort.
This model also features an efficient zero boil-off magnet. With a cryogen refill interval of approximately 10 years, the helium budget for an Espree is far lower than many traditional magnet types.
The Espree’s TIM technology allows for coils to be “daisy-chained” together for multiple studies to be performed simultaneously. This reduces the amount of time a patient must spend in the bore.
The 70cm bore proves to be the best in its class for mobile applications, allowing studies for claustrophobic and obese patients, even in a mobile setting.
The Aera is the latest Siemens 1.5T MRI to begin emerging in the mobile market. Aera introduces a redesigned Total Imaging Matrix (TIM) platform known as “TIM 4G”. In this case, 4G refers to the added coil elements and exceptional SNR that results from DirectRF technology (cable-less coils). Combine TIM 4G with daytime optimization throughput (DOT) and you can reduce scan times by up to 50% using customizable scans for every patient.
From wide-bore to the XQ gradient package, this MRI has it all. The gradients on the Aera are Siemens’ best yet, the XJ/XQ engines, producing amplitudes/slew rates of 125-250.