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Don't spend thousands on MRI or how the state makes quality diagnostics available

Victor LitvinenkoNews
Which hospitals will receive MRI machines. Source: https://ru.freepik.com/author/freepik

How to prescribe effective treatment? This requires qualified doctors and accurate diagnostics, which largely depends on high-quality equipment.

This is exactly what magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners are used to confirm particularly complex and dangerous diagnoses. Last year, Medical Procurement of Ukraine purchased 28 powerful MRI scanners for hospitals at the request of the Ministry of Health.

What is their uniqueness, what does Faraday cages have to do with it, which regions will receive this equipment and how it will help to expand access to quality diagnostics in the regions - I will tell you further.

Edem Adamanov, Director General of Medical Procurement of Ukraine

Don't spend thousands on MRI or how the state makes quality diagnostics available

First centralized MRI procurement at the state level

Magnetic resonance imaging is one of the most informative and safe diagnostic methods. Unlike CT scans, they do not irradiate a person, because their principle of operation is based on magnetic fields.

The MRI scanners have been purchased from world-renowned manufacturers such as German Siemens, Japanese Canon, and American General Electric, and will be used free of charge by Ukrainians.

These are the first centralized purchases of MRI scanners at the state level. They were made with significant budget savings: about UAH 300 million for UAH 1.1 billion.

Why is it important? In some regions of Ukraine, public healthcare facilities still either do not have MRI scanners or use old ones with low magnetic field induction. Many of them are mostly more than 10 years old, and sometimes more than 15 (!). This results in poor quality diagnostics or the need to go to a private clinic and have the tests done for a lot of money.

The MRI machines purchased by Medical Procurement of Ukraine are modern and innovative, but their technical characteristics differ somewhat. In particular, 22 of them have a magnetic field strength of 1.5 Tesla and 6 - 3 Tesla (magnetic field induction). In general, both categories are high-field equipment designed for detailed visualization of internal organs and tissues of the body due to high-quality two-dimensional and three-dimensional images.

The 1.5 Tesla devices specialize in studies of the central nervous and cardiovascular systems, abdominal cavity, pelvis, orthopedics, and can be used for mammography, etc.

In turn, the 3 Tesla devices allow for spectrography and tractography, which are essential in neurosurgery. In particular, this is one of the innovative methods of brain diagnostics, which is especially important during the war.

Such examinations make it possible to assess the state of the brain's conduction pathways and biochemical activity inside the body's cells, as well as how close important nerve tissues are to the tumor, which is extremely important for neurosurgeons during operations.

Thus, these devices will make it possible to diagnose a number of diseases, including oncology, at an early stage. And this is another step on the road to recovery, because we all understand that high-quality and timely diagnosis is a critical stage for effective and successful treatment.

Which hospitals will receive MRI machines

This year, the supplier is to supply the equipment to the hospitals identified by the Ministry of Health based on the submitted needs. According to the preliminary distribution, in particular, these devices will go to regional clinical hospitals in Vinnytsia, Dnipropetrovs'k, Zakarpattia, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kyiv, Kirovohrad, Mykolaiv, Odesa, Sumy, Rivne, Ternopil, Kharkiv, Kherson, Khmelnytsky, and Chernivtsi regions.

But not just any procurement 🙂 Because hospitals have to prepare responsibly before the delivery.

MRI is the most difficult equipment to install

Before installing MRI, medical institutions must prepare the premises for it. It must meet strict requirements, without which the equipment simply will not work. To do this, the supplier's engineers visit hospitals, check the availability of all communications, and provide recommendations for building or repairing the premises.

Next, the supplier has to bring and install a Faraday cage, a fence made of electrically conductive material that is individually made for each hospital, directly into the walls. It is designed to protect the equipment from external impulses and ensure maximum image quality.

Only after this stage can the hospital accept the MRI. The tomograph itself, by the way, is already filled with helium to cool the magnet from the factory, so it is already working before it even reaches the hospital.

As you can see, the state invests a lot of resources in high-quality diagnostic and medical equipment. This means that even in times of war, the country cares about the health of Ukrainians and expands their access to free treatment.

The next year will be no less busy: we plan to purchase and install cyclotrons for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, which are necessary for the production of radiopharmaceuticals, in some hospitals, and in 2025 - positron emission computed tomography (PET-CT) scanners. But this is another story.

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