Clemens Tepel, MSc; Pedro Freire Silva, MSc
Competition Sponsor: EIT Health of the European Union
Today access to lifesaving medical imaging through MRI is limited to certain population groups and clinical use cases due to its high cost, complexity, and infrastructure constraints. Where MRI is available, waiting times are often weeks. DeepSpin’s mission is to change this status-quo and make MRI universally accessible.
We are developing a 20x cheaper, portable, and open MRI system that enables point-of-care MRI scans. For the first time, this will allow medical professionals to conduct high-quality MR-imaging at a hospital bed, in non-radiology outpatient settings or in the long run even at a GP’s office.
By making machine learning an integral part of the system design, DeepSpin is able to perform MR imaging in inhomogeneous magnetic fields for the first time ever, taking imaging quality far beyond the limits of the conventional, low-cost permanent magnet designs used by competitors. Simultaneously, it enables not only an operation in non-shielded rooms and without cryogenics or high-power outlets, but also an automated operation of the system. Moreover, DeepSpin’s system uses a projected field of view rather than a fully enclosed one, inside a magnet’s bore. This not only significantly increases patient convenience, but also allows the patient to be in any situation, from a load-bearing position to an incapacitated state, unlocking completely novel use cases, e.g., in interventional MRI.
Through this technology, DeepSpin will make MRI universally accessible, allowing deadly diseases to be detected early, diagnosis times to be shortened and consequently thousands of lives saved.