Portable MRI system attracts $1 million development grant

A new diagnostic tool is closer to commercial reality after the University of Queensland’s Centre for Advanced Imaging received a $1 million federal grant.


A portable MRI system is being developed by CAI with electronics business Intellidesign, and addresses limitations with current machines, which are expensive and bulky and therefore not suitable for remote clinics and field hospitals.


“This ground-breaking technology is the result of a decade of research at CAI culminating in an imaging system which is significantly more portable and ideal for applications not requiring high resolution including acute trauma imaging,” said CAI Director Professor David Reutens in a statement.


The technique uses permanent magnets, a much lower strength magnetic field than other systems, and “highly sensitive detectors to produce images.” 


A production ready system is expected to be three years away.


“The drawbacks with current MRI technology have presented an opportunity for home-grown medical device innovation in Queensland’s backyard – providing a local springboard for this technology into larger global medical markets,” said CEO of Intellidesign Matt Bromwich, who is also the project leader.


Among other work, IntelliDesign is the contract manufacturer of devices for industrial IoT company Movus.


The grant for the project is through the $45 million federal BioMedTech Horizons program, administered by the MTPConnect growth centre. 


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