Significantly faster MRIs through MSU and McLaren

June 22, 2023 - Erin Bowling - WILX News 10

Originally published on WILX: LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Traditionally, MRIs are a very slow process. However, a brand new machine in Lansing is reducing the time people spend in one by up to 75%. McLaren and Michigan State University are offering this brand new MRI at their new imaging center.

An MRI gives doctors an inside look at your body, to diagnose a variety of things from tumors to torn ligaments. It uses artificial intelligence to create clearer images faster. One of their experts says traditionally, an MRI comes with delays. He believes the new technology’s speed, can eliminate scheduling headaches.

“It allows us to be much more flexible in accepting patients as they come to the door, and treating people as they need it, rather than when we can book it,” said Dr. Mark DeLano, chair of MSU’s Department of Radiology.

During test scans on Thursday, excitement for the new MRI technology filled the room.

“We’re really excited about it. The biggest thing we’re excited about is just the speed that these machines can run at, and how fast we can get these scans done” said Kurt Sandborn, an MRI Technologist with McLaren.

McLaren and MSU say their entire imaging center is full of brand-new technology, with faster CT scans among other things. On average, full-body MRI scans could take around 90 minutes. However, the new machine could do it in under 30 minutes, with potential for improvement.

“It’s getting better all the time. There’s a new version of it, that’s iterating now, we’re looking at a knee scan that can be done in less than five minutes,” said Dr. DeLano.

He says they’re the first provider in Mid-Michigan to offer this technology.

“We’re really thrilled to be able to bring it to patients, a five-minute scan, a 10-minute scan, in a way that is much more tolerable for them,” said Dr. DeLano.

The machines are also wider than usual, making it more accessible for different body types and those with claustrophobia.

“I’m excited to send friends and family here to get their scans done, and really just for the community as a whole,” said Sandborn.

Specific MRIs require patients to be injected with a special dye. The new machines are allowing them to research using less dye, while still achieving the same results. MSU and McLaren’s new machines will serve its first patients on Monday. They hope eventually, their ability to see more patients, will allow them to lower the cost of MRIs.

View the full video interview here.