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Redefining MRI exams




There are many reasons why patients are referred for an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan. The MRI scan is used to diagnose conditions such as tumors and malignancies; joint, spinal, soft tissue or ligament injuries or diseases, as well as diseases of internal organs including the brain, heart and digestive organs. It can help doctors by giving a diagnostic report in relation to the patient’s symptoms to aid in effective treatment. However, fear and anxiety about undergoing an MRI scan is a real concern.

At The Medical City (TMC) Department of Radiology, doctors and staff understand that ensuring patient’s safety and comfort is a vital part of their responsibilities. Guided by the institution’s mission to be the leader in shaping the country’s perspective on healthcare and its delivery, the department has recently upgraded its MRI services.

TMC recently became the first medical facility in the Philippines and in Southeast Asia to install the Magnetom Sola 1.5T MRI scanner from Siemens Healthineers with groundbreaking BioMatrix technology that supports precise, personalized imaging with exceptional speed across entire patient population.

The system’s BioMatrix technology addresses the patients’ anatomical and physiological differences to help healthcare providers quickly perform a full range of routine and complex examinations while delivering consistent results for each patient. With this technology, the Magnetom Sola can help decrease rescans and increase productivity to improve cost-efficiency and overall patient experience.

What sets the Magnetom Sola apart is its artificial intelligence (AI) technology where patient’s comfort is top priority. During the procedure, it automatically adjusts to patient’s body habitus with reduced motion and noise. AI-supported systems monitor patients, scan parameters and ensure consistent image quality.

The launch of TMC’s new MRI system was held on 20 August at the Augusto Barcelon auditorium of TMC in Ortigas, Pasig City. Present during the event were TMC president and CEO Dr. Eugenio Jose F. Ramos; chief medical officer Dr. Rafael Claudio; Radiology Unit head Dr. Heidi C. Santos; MRI Section head Dr. Jose Emmanuel G. Flandes, and doctors and staff from the Radiology Department. The guest speakers were Joerg-Uwe Steuk, ASEAN Business Development manager, and Chen Wei, clinical applications specialist, both from Siemens Healthineers MRI systems.

“Patients have unique, individual characteristics — biovariabilities. Their different physiologies and anatomies — and the way we interact with them and technology — may cause unwarranted variations in imaging results. BioMatrix technology helps overcome these challenges by automatically adjusting to patient biovariability. By embracing human nature in this way, we can personalize examinations and help expand precision medicine,” said Steuk in his presentation during the launch.

The Magnetom Sola is one of the latest additions to Siemens’ open-bore 1.5T MRI scanner line-up. Wide-bore MRI systems have a large, 70 cm. in diameter magnet that makes patient access and comfort levels much better in comparison to other MRI systems. It significantly facilitates inpatient MRI studies which are often performed on critical patients who have several devices attached: implants such as catheters, IV lines; and vital signs monitoring sensors. These patients may also be unconscious, thus requiring close monitoring and easy access.

For outpatient studies, two aspects of operations favor wide-bore magnets: the patient’s anxiety associated with the exam, often attributed to claustrophobia; and physical limitation due to the width of the patient’s body habitus. Wide-bore systems have much larger weight handling capacities making it much easier to accommodate large patients.

The TMC Radiology Department also acquired Magnetom Amira 1.5T which offers the same technologies that are available on the Siemens flagship MRI systems.

“Today marks the official giant leap in the developmental milestone of the Department of Radiology. We have two new state-of-the-art MRI systems, the Magnetom Sola and Amira that shall radically improve the quality of our services. We are thankful to the TMC management for these acquisitions thereby realizing the department’s vision to be the center of excellence in medical imaging,” said Dr. Heidi Santos, head of TMC Department of Radiology.

For more information, contact The Medical City Department of Radiology MRI Section at 988-1000 ext. 6176 or 6337 or email