Hitachi Echelon Oval Behind the Scenes

The Hitachi Echelon Oval is the first MRI scanner ever to have an elliptic magnet that allows patients to feel more comfortable and more open, creating a more positive experience and helping to create the overall quality of care that Pioneers Medical Center aims for.

Pioneers Medical Center began scanning patients in their new Hitachi Echelon Oval wide bore MRI machine late October. Located in Meeker, Colorado, Pioneers is the second hospital in the State and the only hospital on the Western Slope to offer this type of advanced imaging.

“Pioneer’s main focus is on patient care and the Oval delivers the highest level of comfort of any MRI on the market,” said Greg Hanberg Radiology Director for Pioneers.

The Echelon Oval’s ultra-wide 74 cm opening and the short overall length promote a level of patient comfort with no compromise on field of view or image quality. A positive patient experience is enhanced by adjustable airflow, lighting and two-way communication. Ultra-wide 74 cm oval bore accommodates the extra-wide 63 cm patient friendly table.

There are several challenges that Imaging Departments face on a daily basis that can be minimized or eliminated completely by offering a patient friendly MRI system. Common challenges include: Elderly Population Compliance/Tolerance, Obesity, Claustrophobia and Sedation.

Research suggests the prevalence of anxiety or claustrophobia as it pertains to patients scheduling an MRI. In fact, a 2016 Advisory Board Research and Analysis suggests that 25% of MRI patients experience some level of claustrophobia, and at least three or four in every 100 patients suffer from it severely enough to interrupt or terminate any magnetic resonance examination.

Furthermore, the reason most often given for turning down a breast MRI study was claustrophobia, followed by time constraints and financial concerns, according to the study (Radiology, 2010, Vol. 254:1, pp. 79-87). The results come even as new research indicates the value of breast MRI in finding additional cancers in high-risk women. Of the 512 women who refused the breast MRI studies, 130 women (25%) cited claustrophobia as the primary reason.

Patients appreciate the almost 30-inch-wide opening of the Echelon Oval MRI, and the way they can go into the scanner feet first to reduce any nervousness about their scan. Oval MRI’s powerful technologies include sound dampening and fast scanning to get scans done as quickly and as quietly as possible.

“Hitachi is honored to be working with Pioneer Medical Center to help bring high performance, patient friendly medical technology to the Meeker community”, states Shawn Etheridge, Executive Director, MRI/CT Marketing at Hitachi.

Pioneers continues expanding their service area base. Their market share not only reaches western Colorado, but they serve patients nationwide as well. In addition to Hitachi’s Echelon Oval, Pioneers has added several technological advancements, including the state-of-the-art Mako robotic-arm assisted surgery equipment and the addition of a multi-million dollar orthopedic and sports medicine center.

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