MRI scanners can be quite loud when performing exams, and since those can last up to an hour the noise gets to be pretty annoying. GE is now making available its Silent Scan technology that we first reported from RSNA last year, which allows for nearly silent operation of MRI scanners in certain modes (T1 and PD-weighted scans at 1.5 Tesla).
MRI machines are hard to silence for the fundamental reason that they work much like audio speakers, where magnets and coils interact, creating vibrations that results in noise. GE has revealed that the technology “works by minimizing changes in the current during the imaging process. Smoother current means fewer vibrations and less noise.” It is staying mum, though, about exactly how it does that, something that many thought would be impossible, only revealing that both hardware and software modifications were required to quiet the beast. Nevertheless, we’re excited to see this tech entering the market which GE says will be made available on many new and existing scanners. Moreover, the company is working to make Silent Scan available in a greater variety of scanning modes and on more powerful 3 Tesla systems.
Here’s a video demonstrating a scanner working with and without Silent Scan: