Queensland Health’s most advanced MRI has commenced operation at Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH), reducing outpatient wait times, improving disease diagnosis and treatment, and enabling ground-breaking research.
Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Dr Steven Miles said the $5 million MAGNETOM Prisma MRI Scanner project was an investment in the future health of Queenslanders.
“This high-resolution, high-performance machine is designed from the ground up to break through research and clinical barriers previously considered unpassable,” he said.
“Its ability to analyse the human body in greater detail means Queensland researchers will be able to unlock new information about various diseases and treatment options.”
Minister Miles said the research implications were limitless.
“Researchers from PAH and the Translational Research Institute have already planned to use the machine to investigate breast cancer, thyroid cancer, ovarian cancer, post-traumatic stress disorder, irritable bowel syndrome, adolescent brain development, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity,” he said.
The 12-tonne machine will also be used clinically at PAH and is the third MRI for the hospital.
PAH Director of Radiology Dr Susanne Jeavons said the new machine would increase the hospital’s outpatient appointment capacity by 20 per cent.
“We are going to be able to do an additional eight to 10 scans each day and expect this to reduce our outpatient wait times by several weeks,” she said.
Dr Jeavons said the new machine could potentially speed up the diagnosis and treatment of numerous diseases, including different types of cancer.
“The MAGNETOM Prisma has the ability to produce more detailed images and reports. For example, with head and neck cancer you’re looking at very small nerves and the new MRI will be able to get better images of those,” she said.
“The higher resolution images means doctors will be able to pick things up earlier and the detailed information will help them to plan treatments more accurately whether that’s with surgery or radiation.”
Dr Jeavons said the new MRI would also offer a dynamic view of the human body.
“With this MRI we are going to be able to see how the blood supply gets to different organs, how it filters through and then how it leaves,” she said.