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A Smart Assistant for MRI Technologists


Abstract Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is critically important for pediatric care and the unusable data caused by patient motion has been estimated to cost $1.4B per year in the United States alone. Currently, a radiologist assesses if the images are satisfactory or not, but an MRI technologist does the imaging, and coordination of communication between the two is costly and slow. We propose to develop a device that monitors motion during an MRI scan without creating an MRI artifact or posing a burden to the subject. We propose to develop and assess a device based on MRI compatible MEMS technology that will measure motion and allow an MRI technologist to intervene to improve image quality by reminding the subject to hold still, and to assess the final image quality associated with the imaging data acquired. This will save valuable imaging time and reduce costs by improving the rate of diagnostic quality images, and save time by assisting the MR technologist to decide if the images are sufficient or if they need to be repeated. In this Phase I study, we will develop and validate an MRI compatible gyroscope and an MRI compatible magnetic field sensor, which in combination with an existing MRI compatible accelerometer will allow for rapid calibration of the device to the MRI coordinate system and the sensing of six degree of freedom motion. BIOPAC currently makes and sells an MRI compatible accelerometer. We will develop an MRI compatible gyroscope and magnetometer and a combined MRI compatible accelerometer/gyroscope in the same form factor as the current accelerometer. The sensor measurements will be converted to a digital signal through the existing BIOPAC MP160 hardware interface. We will write a software interface to enable each sensor to be used with the BIOPAC AcqKnowledge data acquisition software. These sensors will then be tested for their ability to operate safely in a clinical 3T MRI environment, tested for their ability to not create artifacts due to either RF interference or magnetic susceptibility changes, and tested for the accuracy of the sensor measurements in the MRI.

Funded by the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences through its Clinical and Translational Science Awards Program, grant number UL1TR002541.