InkSpace Imaging: Delivering Comfortable, Personalized, High Fidelity MRI Coils
Dr. Peter Fischer, President and CEO As physicians increasingly rely upon magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ensuring value and quality of the images is essential. MRI highlights tissues and diseases in exquisite detail. However, one of the significant elements of MRI scanners are the coils that detect signals from the patients that are converted by a computer to images. Even though there have been many improvements in coils since the first MRI was performed, there are many remaining limiting factors.
The vast majority of existing MRI coils are heavy and rigid, causing problems for health care professionals and patients. Also, scans are lengthy, inducing anxiety in susceptible patients (especially children). As a result, most patients tend to move during MRI scans, thereby causing blurry images and necessitating a re-scan. On the other hand, from a healthcare perspective, failed imaging exams (approximately ten percent) correspond to losses of up to $4 b in the U.S. alone. Moreover, the surge in repeat scans also causes significant inefficiencies and patient anxiety. In such a scenario, what healthcare providers need is more flexible, lightweight, and affordable MRI coils.
That’s precisely what InkSpace Imaging, a promising medical device manufacturer, brings to the table. The company is developing printed, flexible, lightweight MRI coils that increase the comfort and success rate of MRI scans. “Our coils are built to maximize patient comfort and allow healthcare professionals to perform MRI scanning in a highly efficient and cost-effective manner,” says Dr. Peter Fischer, president and CEO at InkSpace Imaging.
Our coil’s flexible, lightweight, blanket-like design helps patients feel more relaxed and allows physicians to place it extremely close to a patient’s body, thereby enhancing MR signals and driving the development of significantly sharper images of their anatomy
A brainchild of UC Berkeley’s electrical engineering and computer sciences (EECS) department, InkSpace Imaging was founded in 2016 with a vision to revolutionize patient experience and enhance efficiency and performance of MRI equipment. In April 2019, the company started its first manufacturing facility in Pleasanton, CA which will support the company through the current pre-commercial development phase, FDA approval and product commercialization. A key element of the company’s go-to-market strategy has been the forging of strong, durable ties with the global MRI manufacturing community.
At the core of InkSpace Imaging’s coils is its goal to help healthcare institutions overcome the most prevalent MRI challenges with respect to pediatric patients.
As an antidote to these issues, InkSpace Imaging has developed a printed, flexible, lightweight MRI coil that enables clinicians to significantly minimize the time required to perform imaging. The design provides the patient with blanket like comfort. The flexible design of the coil allows physicians to place it extremely close to a patient’s body, matching an individual’s body contours, thereby enhancing MR signals and enabling significantly sharper images of their anatomy. Moreover, for clinicians, InkSpace Imaging’s coils enable fast scanning resulting in remarkable improvement in throughput that could result in annual savings of close to a quarter-million USD per MRI suite.
Since inception, InkSpace Imaging has been working with Stanford University for research purposes, which has led to the publication of articles in the prestigious journal Radiology.
While InkSpace Imaging’s initial focus is on diagnostic MRI applications, the company has already identified new opportunities in interventional radiology, such as MR-PET and MR guided Radiation Therapy. “We will also be developing coils that can be utilized in multi-modality therapy systems. Printed, flexible, lightweight MR coils will play a critical role in the radiation oncologist’s desire to visualize and track tumors in real time during dose delivery, under MR guidance,” concludes Dr. Fischer.
Description InkSpace Imaging develops flexible Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) receive coils to increase the comfort and success rate of MRI exams. The company has developed a novel manufacturing method to make extremely lightweight, flexible and low-cost MRI coils that are comfortable and patient-customized. As a spinout from UC Berkeley, InkSpace Imaging's team is comprised of dedicated, knowledgeable scientists and researchers on the cutting edge of medical imaging
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