Our company, Mednovus, is making the annual pilgrimage to Chicago after Thanksgiving for the biggest of all radiology trade shows, the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) annual meeting. The ‘buzz’ at each of these shows has traditionally been focused on the new-product launches from the ‘big 3’ (Philips, Siemens, and GE), and very little on ancillary or support solutions. This year, however, with the looming Michael Colombini civil trial and forthcoming design standards on MRI safety, that may all be about to change, with a new focus on MRI safety issues.
To facilitate your review of safety features, I’d like to suggest an itinerary for visiting a select group of exhibitors, starting with North Exhibit Hall B (the Philips hall)…
North Hall B includes exhibitors with booth numbers from 7000 – 9550. And while I won’t pretend to know what each exhibitor offers (so, clearly I won’t be able to identify all relevant MR safety products that might be featured at each exhibitor, please forgive any oversights), I would like to provide you with a short-list of stops that I recommend that you make.
Some of these are on my list because I know and recommend their products (look for the •), others are there because they’re new (to me at least) and I’m curious to learn more about them.
7019 • MagResource – Offers the largest (that I know of) online database of medical devices tested for MR safety. Subscriptions are paid, but they do make available a free trial period.
7524 Resonance Technology – Offers special audio and video systems for MRI patients. Not specifically safety, but if you’re looking for A/V products for your MRI suite, best to get them from someone who knows.
7708 MR Instruments – Again, not quite a MR safety company, but they offer a variety of MR coils that may not have come with your vendor’s ‘standard package’ of coils.
7725 Philips – Word has it that Philips is expanding their accessories catalog to include additional MR safety products. Seek out their accessories reps and ask them what they have.
7801 • Mednovus / SAFESCAN® – Right near the entrance to the hall, you may want to visit us, first, on your way to others. We offer some of the most effective / cost-effective ferromagnetic screening systems available, plus expert consultation.
8810 Composites Horizons – Finding positioners that are suitable (non-metallic) to the MR environment is always a challenge. I plan on looking these people up to see the range of what they have.
8940 Imprex International – One of the largest manufacturers of non-magnetic tools and hardware specifically designed for safe use inside the MRI environment. Particularly as we’re putting more equipment alongside the MRI, this becomes more and more important!
9113 • Covidien – Most often thought of in terms of contrast media, Covidien also manufactures one of the leading MR-tested infusion pumps.
9522 • Ernie’s Welding – These guys get a lot of funny looks (‘are you sure you’re at the right conference?’), but Ernie’s is perhaps the nation’s expert in fabrication of cryogen vent exhaust systems. Conduct a check of your quench pipe before you leave for Chicago and visit the people at Ernie’s booth if you have any questions about what you found.
9529 Wardray Premise – An MR accessories products company (that I’m hoping to get familiar with) based in England.
There are vendors not on this list because (1) I either forgot or didn’t know about their product offerings, (2) they’re ‘old standby’s’ that I’m already familiar with, or (3) they’re in a different exhibit hall.
Which segues, nicely, into my disclaimer that the above list is just for the North Exhibit Hall B. Time permitting, I’ll do the same for the Lakeside Center D (the Siemens Hall), and then the South Exhibit Hall A (the GE Hall).
If you’d like to conduct your own virtual tour of the RSNA exhibit halls, they offer a wonderful interactive floor plan of the exhibit halls online. You can see which booths I failed to mention (and add your suggestions in the comment field, below), or preview what you think my recommendations might be for the other two Halls.
I will, of course, be doing some duty in the Mednovus booth, 7801 (just inside the North Hall entrance that is NOT right next to Starbucks), and I hope that you’ll stop in and say ‘hi’ to me or my colleagues. Depending upon how ensconced I get in those conversations, this list may turn out to be a bigger proportion of my RSNA experience than actually getting to the other exhibits!Tobias Gilk, President & MRI Safety Director Mednovus, Inc. Tobias.Gilk@Mednovus.com www.MEDNOVUS.com