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For the successful development, transfer and commercialization of a mobile Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) system for neurosurgical operations
National Research Council Canada – Institute for Biodiagnostics and IMRIS Inc.
The world's first mobile Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) system is saving lives while reducing post-surgical complications, patient wait times and overall health costs. Developed by the National Research Council's Institute for Biodiagnostics at its internationally recognized biomedical technology cluster in Winnipeg, the intraoperative system is designed so that the retractable magnet can be moved over a patient at any time before, during or immediately after surgery. This advanced technology allows surgeons to determine the extent of a tumor, for example, to ensure its accurate removal. Traditional preoperative MRI procedures are performed on stationary systems in a fixed location well before surgery.
A Winnipeg-based start-up company, IMRIS Inc., was created in 1998 to commercialize the system. At the early developmental stage, NRC provided space for the fledgling company in its Winnipeg incubation facility, as well as scientific and technical expertise needed to develop, install and operate the first system installation at Foothills Hospital, Calgary. Since then, more than 800 neurosurgical procedures have been performed at a number of installations, including at hospitals in Calgary, Boston, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania and Fort Worth, Texas. Employing 84 highly skilled people, IMRIS expects to add more than 40 jobs by 2008 to meet growing demand for the intraoperative MRI technology.
David I. Hoult
Ian C.P. Smith
National Research Council Canada
Institute for Biodiagnostics
John K. Saunders
The Seaman Family MR Research Centre / University of Calgary