Developed MRI scanner that reduces cost by 50 pc, says Tata Trusts

The new MRI can scan 3 to 4 times faster than those currently available in the market.

New Delhi: Tata Trusts on Thursday said its Foundation for Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship (FISE) has developed a high-tech portable MRI scanner that can reduce cost of scanning by 50 per cent.

The 1.5 Tesla whole body Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanner has been developed at a total investment of Rs 15 crore by a team of eight scientists and engineers.

"Today, depending on which facility it is, the cost of an MRI scan can be around Rs 8,000-Rs 10,000 per scan. What we have developed is that only on the basis of scientific innovation, we can reduce that cost by 50 per cent," Tata Trusts Head (Innovation and Entrepreneurship) and CEO FISE Manoj Kumar told PTI.

With further business innovation, planning and scale, the cost of an MRI scan can be lowered further, he added. Tata Trusts had supported Voxelgrids right from development to introduction of the MRI scanner. Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences is the clinical partner for the development, where the first system has been installed.

"Between August and December we will be parallelly working on human clinical trials for the scanner and design plan for manufacturing. Our plan is that by 2019 the product should be in the market," Kumar said.

A further investment of Rs 10 crore would be made for manufacturing, which will be done here in India, he added. Highlighting the advantages of the innovation, he said the new MRI can scan 3 to 4 times faster than those currently available in the market.

"Moreover, due to its light weight, this whole system can be mounted on a truck and taken to small towns for real-time imaging of patients in remote areas," he added.

Kumar said the idea behind the innovation is to reduce the cost of MRI scan and make it accessible to all patients as part of FISE's endeavour to promote socially relevant innovations and entrepreneurship with a mission to create large scale sustainable social impact.

Commenting on the achievement, Tata Trusts Chairman Ratan Tata said in a statement,"Innovation and entrepreneurship requires creativity, hard-work and endurance to succeed. I am pleased that the MRI project team has demonstrated this."

He further said it also requires an enabling ecosystem to ensure that the most talented innovators are encouraged to take entrepreneurial risks and create positive social, economic and environmental impact.

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