It’s lighter than air and allows balloons to take flight effortlessly. Divers use it as an additive in their gas tanks to combat “rapture of the deep,” a narcosis-like state that occurs while diving below a certain depth. We’re talking about helium. This fascinating element also plays a vital role in magnetic resonance imaging.
Extreme cold is the key
A deep dive in MRI technology
Given that helium is such a valuable resource, it makes sense to handle existing reserves prudently. With that in mind, efforts are underway in several fields not only to find alternatives but also to identify ways to recycle the element and, above all, to use it economically. This also applies to applications of helium in medical technology. Depending on the type of device, conventional MRI scanners can require over 1,000 liters of liquid helium for cooling1 – reason enough to explore new possibilities.
A quantum leap in MRI
The statements by Siemens Healthineers customers described herein are based on results that were achieved in the customer’s unique setting. Since there is no “typical” hospital and many variables exist (e.g., hospital size, case mix, level of IT adoption) there can be no guarantee that other customers will achieve the same results. 1 https://www.mta-dialog.de/artikel/auf-dem-besten-weg-zur-mrt-sicherheit.html2 https://www.siemens-healthineers.com/de-int/press-room/press-releases/magnetom-free-max.html3 This product is under development and not commercially available. Its future availability cannot be ensured.