• The new machine comes handy in the current era of COVID-19 where the doctors are trying to understand the source of shortness of breath 

Abu Dhabi/Sharjah: A new state-of-the-art MRI machine at NMC Royal Hospital, Sharjah will help doctors find, diagnose and treat certain cancers more quickly.

The machine was unveiled today by NMC Healthcare’s CEO Michael Davis in presence of Clancey Po, President Operations, Dr Kishan Pakkal, Hospital GM, Abdullah Saeed Bafadhel, Clinic Manager, Radiology Department, and Dr Manjiri Bapat, HOD  Radiology Department at NMC Royal Hospital Sharjah.

“This is what investment into our communities looks like,”Michael said. “This new state-of-the-art MRI machine is the only one of its type in the Northern Emirates and only one of four in the UAE. This technology will make it easier for patients in Sharjah and the Northern Emirates to get high-quality scans close to home with much faster results. Ensuring that everyone has access to high-quality medical imaging is essential to getting people the care they need when they need it.”

MRI is a powerful medical tool that provides detailed images of everything from bones and joints to the brain and spinal cord, but millions of patients can't benefit from the improved care it provides.

“The importance of today cannot be overstated, as it is through MRI testing that the presence or absence of disease or conditions is confirmed,” said Dr Manjiri Bapat, HOD  Radiology Department at NMC Royal Hospital Sharjah.

“It is through MRI testing that the severity of strokes is determined,” she said. “It is through MRI testing that breast cancer is often found, and it is through a cervical MRI that it is determined if a patient had early-stage prostate cancer.”

“The MRI scan can detect prostate cancer without the use of any additional probes, making the experience much more comfortable, much more approachable and easier for our patients,” Dr. Bapat said.

The new AI driven Siemens Magnetom Vida 3Tesla MRI scanner with advanced technology, is designed for patient comfort and satisfaction. The machine has a bigger bore size which is comfortable for patients suffering from claustrophobia and the artificial intelligence aids in improving scanning speed while the ambience inside the bore can be adjusted to suit patients comfort - making it the most advanced machine in the Northern Emirates.  

The hospital claims that the technology uses a lower magnetic field to open new possibilities for imaging the lungs and patients with implanted devices and will potentially support new interventional procedures that could result in less radiation exposure.

"This is an important advancement for patients with cystic fibrosis, pulmonary hypertension, heart failure, COVID-19 and any other disease where we're trying to understand the source of shortness of breath and evaluate both the heart and lungs," Dr. Ahmed ElMansoury, Consultant Pulmonologist at hospital said. "The air in the lungs cancels out the MRI signal at higher field strength; however, at lower field, there's potential to see lung tissue more clearly with the MRI."

Healthcare systems – and radiology departments in particular – face more strain than ever. The COVID-19 pandemic is expected to have led to a significant drop in MRI procedure volume in 2020. This backlog in non-urgent patient care, combined with today’s growing disease burden and industry-wide staff shortages demands new solutions like these to help clinicians manage today’s evolving needs.